The Chilliwack Progress has learned that a 74-year-old man died following a fire at Sunnyside campground in Cultus Lake.
The man was airlifted to Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster shortly after midnight on July 14 after suffering severe burns when a travel trailer caught fire.
He was trapped inside when the fire started with a dog that died at the scene. The man eventually made it out of the trailer, and was pulled clear of the blaze, but he was too badly injured to save.
The BC Coroner’s Service is investigating the cause of the fire, which was extinguished by the Cultus Lake Fire Department.
As the incident unfolded, other people camping nearby fled Sunnyside campground in a panic. The front exit to the area was blocked, forcing them to take a back gate off its mooring to get out.
The fire caused damage to an adjacent trailer, but Cultus Lake Fire Chief Warren Mazuren said it could have been a lot worse.
“Luckily they (Sunnyside) have a good system of keeping the trees trimmed up and there was no candling involved,” he noted. “That was helpful in the fire not spreading.”