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

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Just Posted

Humanitarian work earns Penticton teacher Unsung Citizen award

Sandra Richardson was awarded the humanitarian award for decades of work bettering other countries

Concert to benefit Critteraid

Steve Rodgers will perform in Summerland on April 20

Landfill charges changing in South Okanagan-Similkameen

Fees adjusted in Keremeos, Penticton, Okanagan Falls and Oliver

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Get outside, it’s going to get warm today

Environment Canada is forecasting a mixed bag of conditions

Survey says: Over half would decrease Penticton airport use because of Air Canada changes

Survey about Vancouver flight schedule has strong response from citizens

Alleged Penticton gunman seen ‘angrily yelling’ before opening fire, witness says

One witness said she heard three bangs, the other said the alleged shooter walked right by him

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Kelowna teen fighting for life in Vancouver hospital

A GoFundMe has been set up for KSS’s Erin Tannar

WATCH: Okanagan creator transforms into Megatron

Vernon’s Darren McNiven lives in car and creates Transformer replicas, art in former storage bin

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

Salmon Arm church enveloped with care after shooting

Elder: ‘We’re still processing; it will be a while to get over the worst of this.’

African children’s choir brings joy and energy to Okanagan-Shuswap

Performances in Salmon Arm, Penticton and Summerland will raise funds for education.

Tribute concert to raise money for youth treatment centre in Kelowna

The ABBA and Fleetwood Mac tribute bands will raise funds for he Bridge Youth & Family Services’ Youth Recovery House campaign

Most Read