Two Armstrong children

Two Armstrong children

Armstrong kids die in motorhome fire

Two Armstrong children are dead after a motorhome fire on the Trans-Canada Highway near Lytton Wednesday.

Two Armstrong children are dead after a motorhome fire on the Trans-Canada Highway near Lytton Wednesday.

The kids had been camping in the motorhome with their grandparents at a decommissioned airstrip off Highway 1, about two kilometres north of Lytton, in the Fraser Canyon, when the fire broke out shortly before midnight.

The Lytton volunteer fire department and three B.C. ambulance crews from Lytton, Lillooett and Boston Bar responded to the blaze.

“On scene, first responders provided immediate first aid to all four occupants, an older couple and their grandchildren, and transported them to the local hospital,” said RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Dan Moskaluk. “Police and fire investigators examining the scene have determined that the fire is not suspicious in nature.”

The couple were camped at the location as part of a road work crew that had recently set up in the area.

With information received from the couple involved and from those who assisted at the time, police do know that the grandparents, who are in their mid-50s, were alseep at the rear of the motorhome and were awoken by the motorhome’s smoke detectors and their two dogs.

The fire was restricted to the front of the motorhome and the couple were able to reach the two children who were alseep in the front right side pull out of the motorhome. They carried the children to the back of the motorhome at which time the gentleman instructed his partner to push each child out the rear side window once he had climbed out.

Once the two children were out, the woman did collapse inside and had to be rescued by two other individuals (employees of the grandfather) who were also camped nearby.  The employees, a man and a woman, smashed the window of the motorhome door and entered and rescued the grandmother.

The children, a five-year-old girl and four-year-old boy who live with their mom in Armstrong, died from their injuries after being admitted to the hospital.

The two dogs also died in the fire.

The children’s father lives in the Lower Mainland, and both parents had been notified of the accident.

North Okanagan-Shuswap school district superintendent Dave Witt confirmed one of the victims is a primary grade student at Highland Park Elementary in Armstrong, and that staff and students are dealing with the tragic loss.

“The district’s grief counselling team is at the school to assist staff and students in dealing with this loss,” said Witt. “Our hearts go out to the family.”

The Lytton RCMP continues to assist the BC Coroners Services with their investigation into the cause of death of the two children.

The families involved have requested that the media and public respect their wishes for privacy.

Names of the deceased nor those of the injured couple have not been released.