Fire engulfs home, two adults killed

Two people are dead after a fire devastated a home in Ladysmith early Saturday morning.

The fire, which started around 3:30 a.m., so engulfed a house on Pictou Road that firefighters were not able to rescue the two adults inside, who were likely asleep when the blaze started, according to Ladysmith Fire Chief Ray Delcourt.

Fire inspectors continue to investigate and believe it was an accident. No foul play is suspected.

Several people were at the scene on Sunday afternoon, where a charred skeleton of the home was still standing.

People laid bouquets of flowers beside police tape that was set up around the house’s perimeter.

At least one family member was present laying a memorial but declined comment other than to say it is a difficult time.

Delcourt said inspectors believe they know where the fire started but are still reviewing evidence.

"The house is completely gutted," he said.

"We think the fire started in the back area of the house but can’t pinpoint anything yet."

Both the B.C. Coroners Service and RCMP were on scene with fire inspectors on Saturday.

The bodies were removed from the home and the B.C. Coroners service continues to investigate.

The victims’ identities and ages have not yet been released.

Delcourt said the fire department knows now that there were no smoke detectors in the house.

"They didn’t have any, which is sad, because it could have made a difference," he said.

"There are a lot of people who don’t have smoke detectors and really need to start thinking about themselves and their families. Once a fire starts, you only have three to five minutes to get out of there."

Delcourt recommends that those with existing smoke detectors test them at least twice a year to be sure they are functioning.

It is often suggested that a good time to check them is at daylight savings, which was Sunday.

Delcourt said the Ladysmith Fire Department provides and installs smoke detectors for free, and they only cost about $10 to purchase.

"We have a concern. We talk about this quite a bit here and we’re trying out best to get people to put them in," he said.

"People can learn from these things. This horrible incident that happened on Saturday, maybe if they had working smoke detection, we could have just gone to the property and put the fire out."