Officials have confirmed that an accidental grease fire was the cause of a fatal fire in Osoyoos, B.C., on New Year’s Day.
Jasper Braga, 22, was killed in the devastating fire that occurred at his family’s home on 89th St., just before 10 p.m.
“The fire was accidentally caused by cooking, and the burn patterns were typical of what we see in oil fire spills,” Osoyoos deputy fire chief Tyler Hilland said in an email.
“Crews quickly made entry when they confirmed there was an occupant still inside, and were able to retrieve and recover him within three minutes of entering the building,” the Osoyoos fire department’s other deputy fire chief, Ryan McCaskill, told Global News earlier this week.
But Braga, who went by J.B., tragically succumbed to his burn injuries later in hospital.
Braga’s father, who is also named Jasper Braga, sustained serious burn wounds in the fire.
The senior Braga is recovering in intensive care in Kelowna. A family member told Global News that his life-support tube was recently removed.
The family of three moved to Osoyoos from the Philippines in 2017.
The junior Braga worked at A&W in Osoyoos, and his friends and co-workers are grappling with the loss.
“It was very hard when we all heard the news. But as a family does, we support each other,” said manager Natasha Pires.
“He was a soft soul, he was always there for anyone.”
Hergot Singh said they were close friends.
“He’s a really kind guy. I can’t even believe right now he’s no more; it still feels like a dream or something,” he said.
The community is rallying around the family.
The Osoyoos Gift Cupboard is collecting gift-card donations at AG Foods in Osoyoos, where the senior Braga works.
Fire officials are reminding the public to not apply water to grease fires.
“When cooking, always have a lid nearby to cover a pot if it catches fire,” Hilland said.
“Do not apply water to an oil or grease fire, as this will cause rapid expansion of the fire.”