The body of a man was discovered by Nanaimo firefighters after they battled a blaze that gutted a house in Harewood yesterday.
In a press release, Nanaimo RCMP say a man’s body was discovered at a home in Athletic Street after a report of a structure fire at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11. Smoke was seen “billowing from windows,” noted the press release, and crews were able to contain the fire to the home within 40 minutes, entering the residence afterward.
“The discovery of the body is deemed suspicious and has been turned over to the Nanaimo RCMP Serious Crime Section for investigation,” the press release said.
Nanaimo Fire Rescue chief Tim Doyle said at the scene that firefighters encountered heavy smoke coming from inside the house when they arrived and that most of the fire, heat and smoke damage was contained to the interior of the structure. Doyle said the fire was considered suspicious and couldn’t offer more information because the fire investigation had been turned over to the RCMP.
There was a strong police response at the fire scene. Neighbours said several people were seen fleeing the home after the fire started and that police frequently attended the residence.
A dog left behind at the the fire scene was retrieved by a neighbour. He did not say if the dog was found inside or outside of the house. Police at the scene said Nanaimo Animal Control was called to take care of the dog.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, quoting file No. 2022-27862.