Fatal building blaze investigation complete
Fire created for warmth in vacant Mount Edward Road building the night 3 teens died, evidence shows
The cause of a fatal fire in a vacant building on Mount Edward Road in Charlottetown last month that killed three teenage boys and sent a fourth to hospital, has been ruled undetermined by fire officials.
On March 29, Kenneth Cameron Irving, Brandon Daniel Alexander MacKinnon, both 15, and 19-year-old Joseph Allison Reeves died in a vacant building fire at 207 Mount Edward Road. Another boy, Brandon Quinn, escaped the blaze and was airlifted to hospital in Halifax. He was treated for burn injuries and is now home in P.E.I.
Police say they've spent the past month piecing together what happened that night.
Charlottetown Deputy Police Chief Gary McGuigan told CBC evidence indicates an open fire was built in the empty building that evening by one or more of the victims.
We believe the boys went to sleep and that at some point, the fire got out of control.- Deputy Chief Gary McGuigan
"There was only the four of them there. No one else was at the building. We know at some point during the night a fire was introduced into the building to keep them warm," said McGuigan.
Alcohol was found at the site, he said, but police don't know if any of the boys were drinking.
Some time after the fire was lit, "the boys went to sleep and that at some point, the fire got out of control," said McGuigan. "We don't suspect foul play."
"You know, a lot of people are assuming this happened and that happened. But as a police agency, we can only speak to what we know that is factual throughout our investigation," McGuigan said.
No identified ignition source was revealed in the investigation, say police, because of the extensive damage to the interior of the building.
Fire officials will keep their file open because the fire was classified as undetermined.
Police have concluded their investigation.
Summary of events according to Charlottetown Police:
- The four boys were driven from Montague to Charlottetown by a friend.
- Two were dropped off at the Charlottetown Mall and the other two downtown.
- The boys socialized separately with friends at the mall and downtown.
- They met up before midnight and entered 207 Mount Edward Road. No other individuals went to the property during that time.
- At some point during the night a fire was started to keep warm.
- The last validated correspondence was a text message at 2 a.m. from one of the boys to a friend.
- Police and fire crews responded to the fire at approximately 5:30 a.m.
A benefit concert was held in Montague Sunday to help the families of the teenagers. Quinn, the boy who managed to escape the fire, attended the event and was surrounded by friends.