Lantzville fire victim identified

The B.C. Coroners Service has identified David William Birnie, 55, of Lantzville as the victim of a fatal garage fire in Lantzville.

Birnie's body was found Feb. 25 in a car inside the garage by firefighters who responded to extinguish a fire inside the garage of the home on Myron Street.

Donna Reimer, Nanaimo school district spokeswoman, confirmed Birnie was the principal of Coal Tyee Elementary  School and that he had worked until Feb. 21, the Friday before his death.

"It's been a really tough week for the school," Reimer said. "The suspicion was that it was him, but until we knew the identity was confirmed we really couldn't do too much, so it's been really tough for the school staff and, with the help of parents and staff, they've been able to explain it to the children."

Reimer said the school can now plan to hold a memorial for Birnie that will likely also include staff members from other schools in the school district.

Upon receiving the coroners service confirmation Wednesday, Reimer was drafting a announcement confirming Birnie's death to be read to Coal Tyee students during classes Thursday morning.

"We did have extra supports in place at the school last week and we'll continue to have any required additional support that's needed there," Reimer said.

The coroners service and RCMP are still investigating the death, but have ruled out foul play.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Report ranks high spenders among Metro Vancouver cities
A tale of two Hastings zones
Holdom property tied up in legal battle
MLA Corrigan hosts holiday open house
MLA Jane Shin appointed to health committee in legislature
Two men arrested for liquor store robbery
Surrey enforcer killed on the weekend
Emission limits set for B.C. LNG producers
Council candidate: Susan Spaeti running in District of Kent

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 21 edition online now. Browse the archives.