UPDATE - Charlottetown police release names of three teens killed in weekend fire

Jim Day
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Charlottetown Fire Chief Randy MacDonald, left and Gary McGuigan, deputy chief for police operations, at the scene of a fatal fire Saturday..

Kenneth Cameron Irving, 15, Brandon Daniel Alexander MacKinnon, 16, and Joseph Allison Reeves, 19, died in an early morning fire at the former Sherwood Greens driving park

Police have released the names of three Kings County teenagers killed in a fire in Charlottetown Saturday.

Kenneth Cameron Irving, 15, Brandon Daniel Alexander MacKinnon, 16, and Joseph Allison Reeves, 19, of Montague died in an early morning fire in an abandoned former commercial building located along Mount Edward Road.

Through an obituary, family members announced “with grieving hearts’’ the sudden death of Reeves, who leaves behind his girlfriend and the couple’s son, Isaiah, who just turned one.

“Joseph will be greatly missed by all who came to know and love him,’’ the obit reads.

Charlottetown Police Services Deputy Chief Gary McGuigan calls the deaths a real tragedy.

“I don’t think we can begin to imagine what the families of these three young men are going through,’’ he said.

“You want to be respectful and your thoughts and prayers go out to these three families.’’

Police have contacted Victim Services to assist the families of the victims.

McGuigan says police had been focusing their investigation on positively identifying the three victims found in the fire. A fourth young male — a Grade 9 student from Cardigan whose name has not been officially released — was able to escape with his life but suffered severe burns.

“We are still waiting for medical clearance to speak with him,’’ said McGuigan.

“We are being respectful of his injuries and his recovery ... We are sure that he will be able to shed some light on the events and activities that these four boys were involved in.’’

Police say the investigation will now focus on determining a time line of events on the four youth leading up to the tragic event. At this point police do not suspect foul play.

A lone police officer was securing the site Monday at the gutted, charred remains of the building that can be clearly seen by passersby on Mount Edward Road.

Autopsies were performed Sunday at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on the three teenaged victims whose bodies were found inside the burning building that had been boarded for some time in order to keep people out.

“It was an unoccupied building that the owner took steps to secure,’’ said McGuigan.

The building had not been in use for several years. However, area residents said they often saw young people hanging around the structure but mainly in the summertime.

Charlottetown fire inspector Winston Bryan was at the scene over the weekend and again Monday. He is now concentrating his investigation on a certain area of the structure.

“There is a substantial amount of debris that has to be sifted through and still a tremendous amount of work that has to be done in order to try and determine the cause and the origin of the fire,’’ said McGuigan.

“This is further complicated by the weather and the integrity of the structure due to the fire damage. The investigation will be thorough and meticulous.’’

There was no electricity in the building.

The fire is believed to have ignited shortly after 5 a.m. Saturday and quickly engulfed the building in tall flames and thick, dark smoke.

Many people would be quite familiar with the property where the building had been sitting vacant for several years.

The 15-acre portion of land on Mount Edward Road behind the Charlottetown Mall was home to the Jack Frost children’s winter festival until the event was cancelled in 2013 and moved to the new Charlottetown Event Grounds this past winter.

Development of a major housing project is underway on the property.

Organizations: Mount Edward Road.Charlottetown Police Services, IWK Health Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Sherwood Greens, Halifax

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Recent comments

  • Mary Adams
    April 01, 2014 - 00:16

    My heart goes out to these families all they need from people is kindness and our condolences and prayer's. My family is going through a tragedy so I can understand their pain and loss. What they don't need is negative comments only heartfelt ones. R.I.P. Young angels.

  • Mary Adams
    April 01, 2014 - 00:15

    My heart goes out to these families all they need from people is kindness and our condolences and prayer's. My family is going through a tragedy so I can understand their pain and loss. What they don't need is negative comments only heartfelt ones. R.I.P. Young angels.

  • Angela Patton
    March 31, 2014 - 21:31

    God bless you Brandon,Joey&Kenneth.Please find comfort in knowing that they are in heaven looking down on their families.All of us will miss your beautiful smiles.May God give Sandra&Brian ,Mark&Stacey ,Steven&Nancy and their families the strength to make it through this heartbreaking ordeal .God please protect little Isaiah and his Mommy the way his daddy would have on his birthday and always.You are all in our thoughts and prayers.I hope Brandon will be able to come home soon.We are thinking of you Susie and Josh and family.We have been doing lots of praying for you all.

  • Burke
    March 31, 2014 - 18:10

    My heart aches for the families of these young men, May they rest in peace, God belss

  • jimmy
    March 31, 2014 - 16:41

    Rest in Peace,God bless you. Bless your family and friends.

  • Observer
    March 31, 2014 - 16:39

    What a senseless tragedy. Why would young people want to hang around such a place? These boys are so young to be out like this! God love the families.

  • Erica Stanley
    March 31, 2014 - 16:25

    Don't know the boys or the families, but my heart goes out to you. It's every parent's worst nightmare. Wishing you courage and strength to overcome your loss. So very sorry.

  • Melissa
    March 31, 2014 - 15:57

    My heart is breaking for the family and friends of these three boys who lost their lives. My heart also breaks for the young guy in Halifax. Hope he is able to recover soon from both the physical and emotional wounds. They are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Doreen compton
    March 31, 2014 - 15:10

    RIP guys... my heart is breaking for the family so so sorry, thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • Shirley
    March 31, 2014 - 13:35

    Rest in peace God love you all.

    • Noel Carragher
      March 31, 2014 - 19:55

      I don't know what to say , because if I was one of these kids immediate family I don't know ifnid pull through. I have a younger brother 13 years younger and I worry about him sooooo much its crazy. I pray these kids didn't suffer, may they rest in piece, and my condolences to the family

    • Sheila
      April 01, 2014 - 17:24

      My deepest sympathy to all the family's .God bless you all