Investigators from Nanaimo RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue remained on scene throughout Wednesday combing through debris for evidence to the cause of a fire at 754 Nicol St. in south Nanaimo Tuesday where firefighters found three people dead at the scene. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

Fire victim’s work absence out of character

Victim in Nicol Street fire was employee and friend

It was out of character for Jason Stephenson to simply not show up for work, according to his employer and friend David Stalker.

Stephenson, 45, Amberlee Scarr, 45, and Piper Stephenson, 7, were reported as the victims found dead in a burning home at 754 Nicol St. on Tuesday.

  • RELATED: Young child among the dead in Nanaimo house fire

  • RELATED: Fatal fire on Nicol Street still ‘a big puzzle

Stalker, president of David Stalker Excavating, based in Ladysmith, said he learned something was wrong when he was contacted by RCMP investigators, who queried him about Stephenson, but would not confirm that Stephenson had died.

“I have not been officially told by the RCMP,” Stalker, who is visiting in the U.S. said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I believe that that’s what happened, but I have not been told officially by anybody that they have died.”

Stephenson, a heavy machine operator, had worked for Stalker Excavating for about one year.

“Jason, he was a friend of mine. I’d actually known him for several years,” Stalker said.

Stalker suspected something was wrong when he received a call from his work crew informing him Stephenson hadn’t shown up for work and that they unable to get in contact with him.

“Jason’s been late a couple of times, but never actually to be not showing up … If he had been half an hour late, these things happen … but it was out of character, yes,” Stalker said.

Then a neighbour of Stephenson’s called Stalker’s office about the fire.

“We at that point realized something was wrong, Jason was obviously not showing up for work and now, of course, the house being on fire,” Stalker said.

Police, firefighters and coroners are continuing their investigations.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Redliners park their rides for charity car show in Nanaimo

The Redliners Charity Car Show continues until 3 p.m. Sunday, July 15, at Country Club Centre

Florist announces bid for Nanaimo city council

Jim Turley, former owner of Turley’s Florist, intends to run in fall election

Development permit approved for condo project near Millstone River

Six-storey building planned for Barsby Avenue

St. Andrew’s United Church celebrates 125th anniversary

Church on Fitzwilliam Street in Nanaimo to hold event July 18 to recognize milestone

Town of Qualicum Beach to sell more than $5M in real estate

Sales to pay for recent real estate purchases, including St. Andrews Lodge

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Motorcyclist dies as fire, crash happen at the same time on Nanaimo Parkway

Young male motorcycle rider collides with one vehicle, then struck by another

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

Driver angry after accident at north Nanaimo intersection

One patient taken to hospital after crash Friday at Enterprise Way and the old Island Highway

VIDEO: Silly Boat sailors serious about trying to win regatta

Soggy Bottoms 4Kids, a Protection Island Lions Club entry, hope to take Nanaimo Silly Boat title

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Most Read