VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A 55-year-old man has died after an apartment fire Sunday night in the Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver.
The man, who used a wheelchair, was smoking in his room when his clothing and a small upholstered chair accidentally caught fire, according to investigators.
Emergency crews arrived at the apartment on West 10th Avenue near Maple Street, shortly after 8 p.m. The removed him from the apartment and performed first-aid.
The man suffered second- and third-degree burns to 80 per cent of his body and later died from his injuries in hospital, Deputy Fire Chief Raymond Bryant said Thursday.
The apartment had a working smoke alarm and sprinkler but because the fire was so small Bryant says neither were activated right away.
Smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in Vancouver. Damage from smoking-related fires resulted in $22-million in losses from 2011-2019.
“In the last eight years, we’ve had 23 fatalities, nine of which are smoking-related. It is the leading cause of fatalities,” Bryant said.
He also had a safety message: “Always have a fire extinguisher accessible; have a fire escape plan in your home; check you smoke detectors monthly and change you batteries twice a year. I can’t say that enough.”
The death is the first fire fatality in Vancouver this year.