GORDON TRIAL: Neighbour describes house fire which led to woman's death | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops News

GORDON TRIAL: Neighbour describes house fire which led to woman's death

KAMLOOPS - A man who witnessed a fire on St. Paul Street in downtown Kamloops two years ago says he remembers hearing a pounding on his door before his neighbour told him in a panic that his house was on fire and there were people inside.

Devyn Skeels testified in front of a jury today, Oct. 22, in Kamloops Supreme Court where David Peter Gordon is on trial for two counts of arson and one count of manslaughter in the death of Cheryl William.

Skeels said he and a friend were on his couch playing video games around 1 a.m. April 25, 2013 when he heard a loud banging on his door.

“I opened the door and there’s a man in a white tank top standing there freaking out, crying, telling me his house is on fire,” Skeels said. “(He said) please sir, help me. My house is on fire. There’s people inside. Please help me."

Skeels said the man asked him for help more than 10 times before he and the friend stepped outside and smelled smoke. The pair followed the man back to his house, he said, where they watched several people inside exit the building.

"We get there (and) he’s still hysterical. An older gentleman comes out with his wife and another gentleman comes out - a taller skinny native man - and is pushing him and telling him ‘it’s your fault, the fire started in your room,’” Skeels said.

He said he witnessed the two engage in an argument with the First Nations man pushing the man in the white tank top who told him he was asleep when the fire started.

Skeels said he and his friend asked the man in the white shirt if there was anyone else left in the house but were told no one else was inside.

The jury previously heard Cheryl William was removed from the home by firefighters. She sustained a brain injury from smoke damage and died four days after the event.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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