Cause of suspicious fire still unknown - InfoNews

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Cause of suspicious fire still unknown

The six-unit housing complex at 331 Seymour Street remains uninhabited after a fire on Saturday night.
Image Credit: InfoTel Multimedia
April 01, 2013 - 4:39 PM

UPDATE: 4:30 p.m. April 4, 2013

By Jessica Wallace

The landlord of a rooming house that caught fire Saturday night is saying he had recently handed one tenant an eviction notice.

"The joys of being a landlord," said Michael Fane. "They hadn't paid their rent."

Fane said he hasn't heard from the tenant since he issued the eviction notice a couple weeks ago.

"They were making themselves difficult to communicate with," he said.

Fane was shocked to find out that the Seymour Street six-plex rental property that he and his wife Ruth have owned for almost six years had caught fire Saturday night.

"It was both a surprise and a shock," he said.

The property has been for sale since around Christmas time.

Fane said he owns multiple rental properties, all of which are currently for sale.

He said health complications that began last fall led to their decision to sell, adding that he doesn't want to be a landlord anymore.

While RCMP and the Kamloops Fire Department have stayed tight-lipped about the investigation into the 'suspicious' fire, Fane said he's been made aware that there is a 'person of interest.'

"It's agreed that it was probably not accidental," he said. "That's about what I know at the moment."

Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said it's premature to speculate.

A warrant has been obtained, however the building has been deemed unsafe to enter.

They await a green light to proceed.

"We're waiting to hear from the fire department," Learned said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email: or call (250) 319-7494.


Hot ticket item - house up for sale damaged by fire

April 1, 2013 - 4:39 p.m.

By Jessica Wallace

A fire over the weekend on Seymour Street damaged a rooming house complex that has been listed for sale since around Christmas.

Royal LePage Westwin Realty realtor in charge of the listing, Indy Ball, said interest in the six-unit property had started off slow but had recently picked up.

"We just started getting activity," Ball said. "We have had a couple offers."

He wasn't aware that the property had caught fire when he spoke with InfoTel News.

"You're not playing an April Fools joke on me are you?" he said.

He didn't believe the seller knew it either, adding that they're away.

"It's disappointing to hear," he said.

Kamloops Fire Rescue Capt. Sheldon Guertin said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

"Due to the structural integrity of the building because of the damage of the building, we're not able to enter at this time," he said. "We haven't been able to rule anything out."

Kamloops Fire and Rescue responded to the fire at about 11 p.m. on March 30.

"(There were) no injuries, no deaths," Guertin said. "There were people inside, but not specifically in that unit."

The investigation is awaiting a review of the building by a structural engineer.

"Until we have a chance to send investigators in we basically keep all of our options open," Guertin said.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said the fire is being treated as suspicious until police and investigators can safely return for an examination of the site.

However, he said the property being listed for sale has not factored into the investigation at all.

"There's no apparent linkage there that I'm aware of or that's surfaced in the investigation," he said.

More information is expected later this week.

To contact a reporter for this story, email: or call (250) 319-7494.

Image Credit: InfoTel Multimedia
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