Electrical failure likely sparked fatal Saanich apartment fire
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, June 26, 2019 9:14AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 26, 2019 3:08PM PDT
A fire that tore through a Saanich apartment building and left a woman dead in its wake was likely caused by an electrical appliance failure, according to investigators.
The blaze ripped through the four-storey complex on Richmond Road in the early hours of Fri., June 21, trapping some residents on their balconies.
Crews rescued some of the trapped occupants and the building was evacuated, but a woman in her 60s was later found unresponsive in a hallway and pronounced dead. Her cause of death has not been released.
Saanich fire said investigators have determined the fire originated on the fourth floor.
The appliance that sparked it was likely a small space heater, speaker or failed power bar, officials said, but further investigation and examination of the items is needed.
The building had recently passed a fire inspection on May 8, the fire department said.
People in 31 suites aren't able to live in their units due to the extent of the damage, while the rest have been permitted to return home. Most of the remaining displaced residents are getting help from Emergency Social Services and will be transitioned to other support agencies, Saanich Fire said.
Fire officials are holding a media update Wednesday at 11 a.m.