Amberlee Scarr and Piper Stephenson; Image by Mercedes King

Last Tuesday, October 10th, a house fire broke out in a Nanaimo home, taking the lives of a 7-year-old girl and her parents.

On Friday, Nanaimo Fire Rescue teams stated that they had completed their investigation, and ruled that the fire was accidental, most likely brought about by unattended candles and a lack of working smoke detectors.

The bodies of Amberlee Scarr, Jason Stephenson, and their daughter Piper Stephenson were found after emergency crews were called to the 754 Nicol St. home just after 12.30 PM.

Neighbours and passers-by who noticed the smoke in the house tried to break down the door and save the people inside, but by the time they got there, it was too late.

The sounds of the passerby – a BC Hydro worker – breaking the window and yelling to raise the alarm were originally mistaken for signs of altercation.

According to Nanaimo Fire Chief Karen Fry, it was an “…oxygen-deprived fire, so it was burning for a long period of time and then it cooled down, and then maybe reignited as it spread further inside the house, at which time it was probably noticed by the passersby.”

Currently, the RCMP has stopped investigating the fire. However, the BC Coroners Service is still looking into the cause of the deaths.

Amberlee’s family has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for a ‘Celebration of Life’ for Amber and her daughter, Piper – any remaining funds will go to her surviving sons, Benson and Adam.



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