Penticton RCMP has confirmed the remains of two people have been found in the ruins of an Elm Avenue apartment building after a fire broke out early this morning.
Penticton RCMP received a request Oct. 27 at 4:18 a.m. to assist the Penticton Fire Department with a large structure fire on Elm Avenue. Once the fire was out and a structural engineer deemed it was safe to go in, fire services located the bodies of two people.
The blaze does not appear to be criminal in nature, according to the RCMP. The cause of the fire has yet to be confirmed by the fire department or RCMP.
Due to the deaths, the fire is now a criminal investigation and has been taken over the by RCMP, said Penticton Fire Dept. chief Larry Watkinson.
“Because the victims were found everything stops until the RCMP conclude their investigation. We pause our operations except for fire control to allow the RCMP to do their thing.”
The BC Coroners Service is also conducting an independent investigation to determine how, where, when and by what means the victims came to their deaths.
Penticton mayor John Vassilaki expressed his condolences to the victims.
“I wish to express our deep condolences to the families and neighbours who lost loved ones and friends following this morning’s tragic fire on Elm Avenue. We join them during this time of grief with our thoughts and support,” said Vassilaki.
“I would also like to acknowledge the critical work of our first responders, including our Penticton Firefighters, RCMP, city crews and emergency support services volunteers, whose quick response brought the fire to an end and provided those impacted with the care and attention they immediately needed.”