Police still withholding name of fire victim from Sunday tragedy

Relatives in western Canada still not notified of death

Published on December 16, 2012
Charlottetown firefighetrs attend to the male victim of a house on Kent Street Saunday afternoon. The man was prnounced dead at the scene.
Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

Charlottetown police are still withholding the name of a 31-year-old city man who was pronounced dead at the scene of a house fire Sunday afternoon at the east end of Kent Street.

City police said they are withholding the identity of the victim until all next of kin are notified.

Deputy chief Gary McGuigan said the victim has relatives in western Canada that still have not been notified.

An autopsy took place Monday morning at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

police spokesperson said foul play is not suspected as a factor in the individual’s death.

City police and Charlottetown Fire Station 1 were notified of the blaze, located near the end of Kent Street across the road from Joe Ghiz Park, at exactly a minute before 3 p.m. Sunday.

City fire chief Randy MacDonald said on arrival there was a heavy amount of smoke coming from the back of the house.

“The cause is still under investigation, however, the room of origin at this time appears to have been the kitchen,” MacDonald said during an interview with The Guardian. “Of course, throughout the course of the investigation that will be determined.”

The victim was brought out of the building by firefighters, who attempted to resuscitate the male. The individual was ultimately pronounced dead at the scene.

A group of friends wept while watching the events unfold outside of the building.

MacDonald said the blaze saw a lot of smoke and took some time before being extinguished.

“They were hitting hot spots and that sort of thing…. It does take some time to go through it, because it (the fire) gets into the wall cavities and roof areas,” said MacDonald.

There was considerable fire damage to the kitchen area and heavy smoke damage to the rest of the building, said MacDonald.

“There’s some water damage to the kitchen area as well,” he said.

The investigation into the fire was still in its preliminary stages, MacDonald said Sunday evening.

Fire officials were on the scene this morning continuing the investigation.