Two people dead after early-morning weekend fire in Ladysmith

Ladysmith's fire chief says there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

Two Ladysmith adults lost their lives in a tragic fire early Saturday morning.

Ladysmith Fire/Rescue responded to a call on Pictou Road in the Diamond area Saturday, March 8 around 3:30 a.m.

They were told two people were still in the building, and they encountered heavy flame and smoke when they arrived there, says fire chief Ray Delcourt.

“We tried to do an interior attack to do a rescue, but our guys were turned away,” he said.

Delcourt says about 22 firefighters responded to the early-morning call, and firefighters from North Oyster were on standby at the fire hall.

The identities of the fire victims had not been released by the B.C. Coroners Service by press time, but Delcourt can confirm that “two middle-aged people” were in the home at the time, and their cat and dog also succumbed to the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation and has not yet been determined, but Delcourt says that, at this time, the fire is not considered suspicious.

One thing Delcourt does know is that there were no working smoke detectors in the home at the time of the fire.

It’s a sad incident that affects not only the family and neighbours, but firefighters as well, and Delcourt hopes the story might serve as a bit of a reminder about the value of installing working smoke detectors in your home.

“It’s law to have them in there, and we’ve encountered very few people who actually have these,” he said.

Ladysmith Fire/Rescue has been working hard to promote the importance of working smoke detectors for a while, and Delcourt says that they’ve been to many minor fire calls where there were no working smoke detectors, and they had to install detectors when they left the building.

“I think we’ve installed over 70 smoke detectors in the last year,” he said. “It’s a pretty cheap investment that can and will save their lives.”

Local residents can call Ladysmith Fire/Rescue at 250-245-6436 at any time, and Delcourt says firefighters will call back and can schedule a day and time to come and install smoke detectors for them.

“There’s a need for it,” he said. “It definitely helps us out.”