2 dead in 'suspicious' fire in Springhill home under renovation

Two people are dead in what RCMP are calling a "suspicious" fire at a home in Springhill, N.S., on Tuesday.

Fire crews were able to quickly knock the blaze down after it broke out Tuesday afternoon

An RCMP vehicle sits outside of the home in Springhill on Wednesday. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Two people are dead in what RCMP are calling a "suspicious" fire at a home in Springhill, N.S. 

Springhill Fire Department Chief Stanley Hunter said the fire broke out at a home on Beatons Lane around 4 p.m. on Tuesday and fire crews were able to knock it down quickly.

Hunter said the home was under renovation at the time of the fire and believes it may have started in the basement area.

Police were called to the scene after fire crews found the remains of two people inside, the RCMP said in a news statement. Hunter said when fire crews found the pair, they were beyond medical help.

On Thursday, police confirmed the two victims were a 45-year-old woman and a 42-year-old man.

Autopsies were conducted Wednesday by the medical examiner's office.

"Given that the fire at this stage is deemed suspicious, we are not able right now to identify the cause of the fire," said RCMP Cpl. Dal Hutchinson.

He said the RCMP's major crime unit is leading the investigation.

Investigators survey the home in Springhill on Wednesday. (Preston Mulligan/CBC)

Hutchinson said any time there is a fatal fire, it has a big impact on the community and first responders. 

"We are the ones who have to respond to these fires and deal with the aftermath when it involves a fatality," he said.

"In a community such as the one we are dealing with today, which is a very tight-knit community and small, people are looking out for each other and supporting each other during this difficult time."

Hunter said the tragedy has been difficult for his crew.

"We've got four of our individuals now who are having a hard time dealing with it — they're fairly new," he said. "We have the critical incident stress management team coming tomorrow night."