VIDEO: Man killed in suspicious Penticton house fire remembered as kind-hearted

Sam Besler says it doesn’t surprise her that RCMP are considering the fire suspicious

Sam Besler was at her Huth Avenue home Saturday night, trying to get dinner together for her two kids. She was out of butter, so she went two doors down to borrow some from her neighbours. She’s glad she did, she says, because it turned out to be the last time she’d see one of the two men.

The address she borrowed butter from was 221 Huth Ave., the same house that was destroyed in a deadly 3 a.m. fire early Sunday morning.

“They wanted me to come back over for a bit after [borrowing the butter]. I didn’t end up making it back there and next thing I know the house is on fire,” Besler, told the Western News. “My friend never got out.”

Related: Freezing temperatures complicate response to destructive blaze in Penticton

“It’s still pretty hard for me to try and talk about it without crying,” she said.

Besler said she knew the two, late-30s men for about a year. She became friends with them when the ex-girlfriend of one of them agreed to pick her daughter up from school when she was at work at the Husky gas station.

Besler said the man who passed away in the fire “was a sweet, kind-hearted, gentle guy” who worked in construction, though he was out of work at the time.

She described the man who survived, a welder, as “a hard worker, quiet and outgoing when he gets out of his shell.” She said she hasn’t spoken to him since the morning of the fire, but is hoping to check in on him this week.

Related: Neighbour says security camera recorded suspicious footage before deadly fire

Besler said it’s well-known within the neighbourhood that the RCMP are considering the incident suspicious.

“It doesn’t really surprise me,” she said, adding that there has been a lot of suspicious activity in the area, with break-ins. “Who knows, it could have just been bad timing.”

“Right now it’s kind of scary, I’m constantly checking outside because you never know, who knows, it could have been any of our houses,” she added. “I haven’t slept much.”



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

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