A 69-year-old woman is dead after a house fire in Ibex Valley on Monday.
Donna Tull died in her home on the Old Alaska Highway.
Tull, the owner and sole resident of the home, first phoned in about the fire, said Fire Marshal Dennis Berry. After neighbours heard an explosion at the house, they also made several calls, he said.
When the firefighters arrived at the scene at around 3 p.m., the wooden structure was already engulfed in flames, he said. There was too much smoke, and it was too hot for the firefighters to enter the house. It was a “fast-moving fire” and a quicker response time would not have saved Tull, said Berry. The response time of 20 minutes is typical for volunteer firefighters, he said.
Around 20 firefighters worked to stop the flames, said Berry. This included volunteer firefighters from Ibex Valley, Hootalinqua and Golden Horn, as well as members from Whitehorse Fire Department. They were at the site until around 10 p.m.
The fire marshal’s office and the police are continuing to investigate what caused the blaze. But it was not suspicious, said Berry. Residents should make sure their smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors work, and that they know how to leave their home in an emergency, he said.
The coroner’s office is still investigating the exact cause of death, said coroner Kirsten Macdonald. Tull’s body has been sent away for autopsy.
The fire marshal’s office believes there was also a cat and dog in the home, but they have not yet been found, said Berry. The investigators have completed their site investigation.