B.C. Coroner identifies victim found in burning home

A woman was found dead in a fire at unit 18 in Figueira's Mobile Home Park Thursday afternoon. Firefighters responded shortly after 3 p.m.

PENTICTON - The woman found dead in Thursday's mobile home fire is Julianna Dorothy Dolores Bergum, 81, of Penticton, according to the B.C. Coroners Service.

Firefighters discovered her body inside her burning home, unit 18 at Figueira's Mobile Home Park Thursday afternoon. Bergum was alone in the mobile home when neighbours noticed it was on fire at about 2:30 p.m.

Investigators have determined the location of the fire but not the cause. Deputy fire chief Dave Spalding said on Friday it appeared the blaze started in the middle of the home in either a bathroom or a small craft area. The woman's body was discovered at the rear of the home.

The Coroner's Service continues to investigate. No cause of death has been released.

Firefighters arrived at the park on Yorkton Avenue shortly after 3 p.m. on Thursday to aim their hoses at unit 18.

Neighbours said Dell and Earl Bergum, an elderly couple, live there.

Spalding said a man, possibly the woman's partner, was taken away from the scene by a relative.

Gladys Alexander lives across from unit 18 and was at home when she noticed smoke and flames. She quickly called 911 and then phoned a few neighbours to warn them. Two fire trucks and six firefighters arrived shortly after.

"We were able to make access to the building right away," Spalding said. "But by the time we got there the flames were already through the roof."

"Unfortunately, mobile homes, when they do catch fire, they burn rapidly."

Firefighters left the woman's body where they found it to allow a B.C. coroner to investigate.

The deputy fire chief said its extremely dangerous when firefighters enter a building but because they had six crew members they could afford the manpower.

"We had enough guys... we could do a sustained interior attack. It makes for a quicker attack, less damage and usually preservation of life," he said, which unfortunately, did not happen this time around.

Fatal fires are hard on the crew he said.

This is the second fire fatality this year in Penticton. The first was a fire at the Jubilee Motel in August that claimed the life of a woman.

To contact a reporter for this story, to send photos or videos, email Shannon Quesnel at squesnel@infotelnews.ca, call 250-488-3065, send tweets to @shannonquesnel1 or @InfoNewsPentict. You can also check out Shannon Quesnel or Infotel News on Facebook.

- This story was updated at 10:50 a.m. for clarity and for the addition of more photographs.

- This story was updated at 11:18 a.m. to include the age of the deceased.

- This story was updated at 1:50 p.m. to include the fire's point-of-origin.

- This story was updated at 3:59 p.m. to include the name of the woman found deceased.

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