British Columbia

Faulty appliance cause of fatal Saanich fire, say investigators

Investigators say a faulty appliance is the cause of a fire that claimed the life of one woman and hospitalized two others Friday, June 21 in Saanich, B.C.

1 woman dead, 2 hospitalized after fire broke out on 4th-floor of Richmond Street apartment block

Firefighters are investigating the cause of a deadly fire at an apartment complex in Saanich, B.C., on Friday morning. A woman in her 60s was found dead after the fire. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

Fire investigators in Saanich B.C. say an electrical appliance failure is likely to blame for a woman's death in a fire at a Richmond Street apartment building Friday.

The Saanich Fire Department says the investigation points to either a small space heater, speaker or a failed power bar as the cause, but a news release states further investigation is needed to narrow down the exact appliance.

The deadly fire first broke out on the fourth floor in the early morning hours of June 21. Fire crews were called to the 2600 block of Richmond Street, two blocks from Jubilee Hospital, around 4:30 a.m.

The building was evacuated as flames spread through multiple units in the top floor of the building.

Twenty two residents made homeless by the fire are receiving emergency social services until Thursday. Thirty one of the evacuated suites remain uninhabitable, while other residents have been allowed home.

The Saanich Fire Department says the 85-suite building passed a fire inspection on May 8.

The woman who died was in her 60s. She was found unresponsive in a hallway after the fire was put out.