Officials are still working to officially confirm the identity of a person found dead after a mobile home fire in the Kootenay community of Burton, B.C., on Saturday evening.
Police and fire officials said the person’s remains and the remains of a deceased dog were discovered, the day after the fire, during a search inside the remains of the mobile home.
According to RCMP, the fire in the 5300 block of Highway 6 was reported around 9:30 p.m. by a neighbour who discovered the blaze after hearing noises coming from the building.
“Sadly the complainant wasn’t able to safely gain entry inside the home, but managed to call for emergency assistance,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey in a media release.
When first responders arrived, the mobile home was “fully involved” in flames.
The chief of the Burton Volunteer Fire Department said his crews were onsite around 15 minutes after the initial call came in.
At that point, fire chief Brian Harrop said the building’s roof had already collapsed.
Harrop said the fire department believes the blaze was burning inside the structure for some time before it was noticed.
“We were informed that there was possibly a victim inside but due to the extent of the fire we were unable to do any approach,” Harrop said.
Harrop said it was simply too dangerous to send anyone into the fire.
Fire crews spent three hours extinguishing the blaze.
O’Donaghey said the fire and death are not believed to be the result of criminal actions.
The police spokesperson said the official identification of the deceased is taking time as police don’t want to make any assumptions that the person killed was a resident of the mobile home.
RCMP said it is not yet clear what caused the fire.
Harrop said the exact cause will likely never be known due to the extent of the damage to the structure from the fire.
Police and the BC Coroners Service continue to investigate the blaze.
According to the fire chief, this is the first fatal fire the Burton Volunteer Fire Department has responded to in more than a decade of existence and a counsellor was brought in to speak with fire fighters.
Burton is a rural community on the east side of Arrow Lake, south of Nakusp.