B.C. man who lost his home to a fire says it was caused by a cosmetic mirror

Wayne Trenholm wants to warn others of the danger

Wayne Trenholm lost his home to a fire Oct. 13.

He knows how it started, and the Comox Valley resident wants to warn others of the danger.

Trenholm said the fire in his trailer home on Arnett Road, just outside Courtenay, was caused by a cosmetic mirror left on the window sill.

The mirror reflected the sunshine coming through the window and started a fire in his closet.

The fire quickly spread and by the time the Courtenay Fire Department arrived, his trailer was fully engulfed.

“A typical make-up mirror – normal one side, magnified the other side – was sitting approximately three feet away from my clothes,” he said, looking over the charred remains of his trailer. “That is exactly where the fire started, so this is it. The sun reflected off the mirror and acted like a magnifying glass.”

Trenholm said a friend of his had the same experience last year.

“My friend Mark… he told me a year ago him and Donna, they smelled smoke in their house, and found their couch on fire. It was from her make-up mirror,” said Trenholm. “Lucky for them, they were home at the time and they were able to put it out. I wasn’t home, and I lost everything.”

He said he is hoping his misfortune can serve as a pre-emptive lesson for other people out there, as to how easily fires can start.

A Google search of “Fire caused by mirrors” produced countless similar stories, as well as YouTube videos showing how quickly such fires can ignite.

“So this is what your place can look like if you keep mirrors close to your windows,” he said, before becoming emotional. “I lost my history – my whole history. Every picture from the time I was nine years old was in there. When I think about that, it really gets to me. The other stuff… the TVs, hunting gear, that’s no big deal. But the sentimental stuff… you can’t replace that.”

Trenholm has been overwhelmed with the support he has received from the community since losing his home.

“My neighbour Jesse [Harris] has helped so much, with trying to get a roof over my head again. And Sandy [Kurceba] from the Comox Golf Course, he’s helped out tons,” said Trenholm. “He sent out a memo to all the members and they got me piles of clothes and even bought me this RV that I will be able to live in.”

He also thanked the Courtenay Travelodge for allowing him to bring his two dogs with him when he stayed there for a couple of days after the fire.

“I was going to sleep in one of the [sheds] out here … I couldn’t leave my dogs behind. So that was really good of them.”

 

Just Posted

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

Fernie skier braves extremes to find ‘soul line’

Caleb Brown named male champion at backcountry ski competition

Avalanche warning issued for Lizard Range, Flathead near Fernie

Warmer weather to increase avalanche risk: Avalanche Canada

Replacement school for Fernie imminent: SD5

School district board chair confident capital funding to follow maintenance project announcement

Teck to address air emission issues at Sparwood mine

Poorly performing dust collection system blamed for exceedances at Elkview Operations

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

BC man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

As long as animal wasn’t jaywalking, no problem, says Parksville official

’Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Police lock down part of Armstrong after ‘live grenade’ discovered

An ordnance believed to be a grenade found on Smith Drive between Dairy Queen and Anchor Inn Pub

Dutch police question new suspect in deadly tram shooting

Police are looking for additional suspects in the shooting

Starbucks to test recyclable cups, redesign stores in B.C., U.S. cities

The company also said it plans to redesign its stores as it adapts to increasing mobile pick-up and delivery orders

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

Most Read