Fire that claimed life of Glace Bay man deemed accidental: police
Published Monday, April 17, 2017 8:19AM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 18, 2017 8:26AM ADT
Cape Breton Regional Police say a man has died following a house fire in Glace Bay, N.S.
Police and the Glace Bay Fire Service responded to the duplex on Concord Street shortly after 1 a.m. Monday.
A man was found inside the home. He was taken to the Glace Bay Hospital, where police say he succumbed to his injuries.
“The fire was pretty well contained to one area of the residence and crews were able to make a quick entry,” said Chief John Chant of the Glace Bay Volunteer Fire Department.
The victim has been identified as 54-year-old Gerry Somerton. Police say he was the only person inside the residence.
Those who knew Somerton say he was well-liked by many in the community.
“I still can't believe this. I saw him last night at 6 p.m. on his doorstep, talking to him,” said friend Jimmy Angove.
“He was kind and he was happy-go-lucky, that kind of thing. Terrible, terrible, terrible. I can't believe it,” said friend Puis Locke.
Neighbours living on the other side of the duplex heard noises coming from next door. Both of them tried unsuccessfully to get inside.
“I got dressed and went out. There was smoke coming out of everywhere. I tried to get in but i couldn't. I got in two feet and I had to back out. I started choking up and everything. I knew I wouldn't be able to make it to his bedroom,” said neighbour Leo O'Connell.
By mid-afternoon, fire crews were back on scene after smoke was reported coming from the home once again.
The fire marshal's office and police have completed their investigation. Police say the fire has been deemed accidental.