Man dies in Saanich after portable heater catches fire

A 43-year-old homeless man died Sunday after his portable heating device caught fire.

A 43-year-old homeless man died in Saanich on Sunday after his portable heating device caught fire.

Thomas Fisher was sleeping near the Telus building at the corner of McKenzie Avenue and Quadra Street when the heater he was using to keep warm caught fire shortly after midnight.

Saanich police, the Saanich fire department and B.C. Ambulance attended, and Fisher was rushed to the Royal Jubilee Hospital intensive care unit. He died later that day as a result of injuries from the fire.

Saanich police say the incident is not deemed suspicious and the B.C. Coroners Service is now investigating. His family, believed to be from outside Victoria, has been notified.

Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen called Fisher’s death sad and unfortunate, and that the incident was traumatic for all involved. Police officers who attended have been given counselling, he said.

“It was a traumatic scene. Not the kind of thing you happen upon everyday as a police officer or even a fireman,” Jantzen said.

editor@saanichnews.com