A man died after being dragged from a blaze in a Qualicum Beach antique store on Friday.
Initial attempts to resuscitate the man were successful, but he died while awaiting air transport to hospital, said Fire Chief Darryl Kohse.
Qualicum Beach firefighters responded to a fire at Remember That Collectibles at 127 Fern Road about 10:30 a.m.
The first crew swept through the smoke-filled single-storey building and found the owner’s dog beneath their feet. It was resuscitated by B.C. Ambulance paramedics.
“Visibility was very limited in there,” Kohse said.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze, which involved contents of the store with flames licking up an interior wall.
It was during a secondary sweep that the store’s owner was found in a room in the back of the building, about six metres from the fire.
It appears the man lived in the building, which included a packed warehouse of collectibles and furniture, Kohse said.
The B.C. Coroners Service has not determined the cause of death, but Kohse said it’s likely to be smoke inhalation.
“The crews did the best they could with the equipment they had and the environment they were in,” he said. “They started CPR right away, and for a short time, he had pulse.”
The building remains standing with fire damage to a few interior walls and the roof. The rest of the damage was smoke related. The fire was contained within about 30 minutes.
Volunteer firefighters from Dashwood and Coombs-Hilliers assisted in fighting the blaze.
The cause of the fire is being investigated, but it is believed a faulty or misused electrical appliance may be to blame, Kohse said.