Firefighters who battled deadly blaze face potential trauma

Jim Day
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Investigation continues into fire that claimed the lives of three teens at former Sherwood Greens property

Work continues on determining just went so horribly wrong last month in the Charlottetown fire that claimed the lives of three teenagers.

So too does the healing process continue.

Charlottetown deputy fire chief Tim Mamye says firefighters that answered the call early March 29 are trying to deal with the devastating tragedy.

Firefighters found the bodies of three teens, aged 15, 16, and 19, inside the burning building on Mount Edward Road.

Twenty fire fighters attended a critical incidence stress debriefing.

"The magnitude for the three lives lost is the most potentially traumatic event that they have encountered,'' says Mayme.

"We are working diligently towards determining the cause and origin so we can have some closure.''

Mayme says Charlottetown fire officials have completed the on-site work after spending more than one full week sifting through debris and gathering information.

The building was leveled today.

Fire officials will begin compiling information from their meticulous on-site investigation.

"We are still working to determine cause and origin,'' says Mamye.

Police have yet to draw any conclusions about the deaths of the three teens: Kenneth Cameron Irving, Brandon MacKinnon and Joseph Allison Reeves.

Deputy Chief Gary McGuigan of the Charlottetown Police Services says the case hinges on an interview with a fourth boy who survived the fire, but has yet to be medically cleared to speak to investigators.

The high school student has been recovering from his injuries in a Halifax hospital. Police say he alerted patrol officers to the fire after escaping from the burning building.

Organizations: Charlottetown Police Services, Halifax hospital

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Sherwood Greens, Mount Edward Road.Twenty

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Recent comments

  • Brandon
    April 25, 2014 - 21:35

    it actually took three people, young people at that, who may have burned to death for the City of Charlottetown to tear down this place?

  • wendy grant
    April 10, 2014 - 00:36

    3 Young kids died and 1 will suffer for the rest of his life in this tragedy, so are we the viewers and families going to see when they plant the grass and / build another something here and you people everytime keep saying this is what happened , where 3 people lost their lives. For God sake give it a break.

  • A Voice
    April 09, 2014 - 18:47

    I believe also that a firefighter should be given a salary. It would be an opportunity for those who are interested in becoming one would have more incentive to join the ranks. It's a noble thing for somebody to risk their life for another, albeit, should something serious happen to them, because of an injury or death, it's only right that their partner and family would be taken care of through some means of compensation. I feel for the families of the young teens who lost their lives. This building should have been bulldozed a long time ago, especially when it was known that it was being used as a hangout. Perhaps a monument could be placed on the site, in memory of those who died.

  • Gman
    April 09, 2014 - 18:08

    I agree whole-heartedly citizen, this province has been standing on the shoulders of its volunteer firefighters for too long and too often. I am not a firefighter but know many on PEI and they always go above and beyond in terms of training they're expected to have and service they give. They suffer a lot of mental anguish seeing fire or accident victims in service to their communities and it's my opinion that their sense of duty and charity is taken advantage of. Why aren't all first responders doing it on a volunteer basis? Why aren't plow operators volunteers?

  • citizen
    April 09, 2014 - 12:51

    Firefighters need to be paid. They go and volunteer to keep us safe and in turn suffer mentally from it. The least we can do is compensate them. They should be city/government employees.

    • don
      April 09, 2014 - 22:28

      how is money going to change what they see and feel? as a volunteer i have seen many things that would make a few up chuck and money would not have made any difference.ask police or ems is being paid help any in what they see? but i think the city or any place on PEI that has buildings that are empty should tear them down before this happens again. in the pic i see another empty place that could be he next to be used.

  • James Ferguson
    April 09, 2014 - 12:00

    There have been comments on one of the boy's name is wrong. It's Brandon not Daniel. You should change that before a person named Daniel calls your newspaper and tells you he's not dead.