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Three people found dead in Nanaimo house fire, Police

12 October 2017

A relative has confirmed the identities of a family of three, including a seven-year-old girl, found dead following a suspicious house fire in Nanaimo Tuesday.

Amberlee Scarr, her ex-husband Jason Stephenson and their daughter Piper have been identified by family as the deceased.

A cousin of Scarr's wrote on Facebook: "My sweet dear Amberlee Scarr!"

He says there's no indication that the case involves anything more than a fire, but any time the origin of a fire is unknown, investigators treat it as being suspicious.

"There was no altercation that we have any knowledge of prior to the fire", Stuart said.

RCMP are also clarifying reports there was a fight before the fire broke out.

Police have not yet been able to find any witnesses with information on how the fire started. Police did receive a call regarding someone at the residence breaking glass and yelling, which Stuart said was a passerby who had seen the fire and was trying to raise the alarm to get people out of the house.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews were called to the 700 block of Nicol Street shortly after 12 p.m. Fire Chief Karen Fry said a bystander called 911 and the call did not come from inside the house.

She described the fire as stubborn and said firefighters were still working at the scene two and a half hours after the blaze was first reported.

The cause of the fire and the cause of the family's deaths are under investigation. Nicol Street is the old highway, south of downtown Nanaimo.

Corporal Jon Stuart with the Nanaimo RCMP says the three victims were related, and appear to be a mother, father, and child.

Officials have not yet provided the cause of the deaths or of the fire.

Stuart said with firefighters looking into the cause of the fire and coroners performing autopsies, there are multiple investigations ongoing.

They said previously she attended a school in the area and that the district had been notified of her death.

Three people found dead in Nanaimo house fire, Police