Fatal structure fire deemed accidental: Police

Matt Gardner
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An official investigation into last week’s fire that claimed the life of a 45-year-old man has determined the blaze to be accidental.

A home on 23rd Street East in Prince Albert was gutted by fire the evening of Aug. 18.

Prince Albert police on Wednesday announced the conclusion of their investigation into the Aug. 18 fire, which took place in the 500 block of 23rd Street East.

Raymond Joseph Carriere, 45, was found dead inside the structure on Aug. 19. An autopsy was conducted on Aug. 20.

The official investigation was a co-ordinated effort, conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division, the Forensic Identification Section, the Office of the Chief Coroner and Fire investigators.

Results of the investigation indicated that the fire started on the main floor of the residence, and it was deemed to be accidental in nature.

Sgt. Brandon Mudry of the Prince Albert Police Service would not speak to the exact cause of the fire -- citing respect for the deceased and his family as well as the fact that it was “sensitive to the file” -- but confirmed that foul play was “absolutely” ruled out.

“It’s unfortunate that somebody’s passed (away) in the fire,” Mudry said. “But there is nothing that’s led us to believe that it’s of a suspicious nature.”

The involvement of the coroner is required as part of official investigations any time that a fire involves a fatality.

Police spearhead the joint investigation, working alongside the coroner and examining any criminal aspects of the case.

Similarly, determining the cause of the fire involves co-operation between different agencies.

“That’s a joint effort between our forensic identification section -- who have fire investigation training -- and then obviously the fire investigators,” Mudry said. “That is their job … They process the scene and they make that determination based on evidence presented.”

The investigation into the fire is now considered complete and no further announcements are expected.

Organizations: Prince Albert, Criminal Investigation Division

Geographic location: 23rd Street East

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