'Very likeable' antique store owner dies in Qualicum Beach blaze
A man pulled from a burning antique store in a dramatic Qualicum Beach rescue has died from his injuries, according to first responders.
Crews responded to reports of a fire at Remember That Collectibles on Fern Road Friday before noon.
After searching through heavy smoke and many artifacts, they found the store's owner, who reportedly lives inside of the building.
Firefighters reportedly had to sweep the area twice to locate him before pulling him out of the burning store.
"He was in cardiac arrest, so the EHS crews managed to rescuscitate the victim and he was transported to the airport to be airlifted out," said Chief Darryl Kohse of the Qualicum Beach Fire Department.
The man was revived once but died while he was being transported to hopsital in Victoria. The man, in his mid-60s, is now being remembered as a popular local merchant.
"Very likeable and very easygoing," said Duane Lawrenuk, who runs an auto service shop across the street. "He and his little dog were living in there and running the business."
A dog found in the store was pulled to safety and is reportedly doing okay.
A cause hasn’t been determined, but investigators are probing the possibility that the fire sparked in the building’s attic. It is not believed to be suspicious.
No one else was injured in the blaze.
With files from CTV Vancouver Island's Gord Kurbis