A 62-year-old man, who local residents believe was homeless, died in an Oct. 23 fire in Berwick. Nova Scotia RCMP is investigating the fatal accident, which they have deemed “suspicious.”
According to police, the fire started at about 2 a.m. on Commercial Street. The location was near Foodland in a bus shelter. RCMP closed off a portion of Commercial Street to work their investigation. They had a search and rescue team conduct a search of the area for evidence that they might be able to use in a criminal investigation. About a dozen businesses were closed in the area as officers instructed employees who worked in the area to remain in the home. The street reopened afterwards.
Although police have not positively identified the deceased, several individuals in the area have informed the media that they recognize the homeless man as someone who is at the centre of a public conversation about rural homelessness. Community members say that he has lived in the area for the last few months, sleeping in the bus shelter. He is said to have been a proponent for anti-poverty work, but he is a private person and goes by a pseudonym. The bus shelter has policies requiring personal information before individuals are admitted to the shelter, but the man refused to provide this information on previous occasions. The bus shelter eventually eased up on these requirements. Community members have made a memorial at the bus shelter and have left flowers at the site.
Nova Scotia personal injury lawyers may be able to assist individuals who are injured in an accident that is not their fault. They may help individuals file a wrongful death lawsuit if another person was liable for the death of a loved one.
Source: CBC News, “Homeless man dies in suspicious Berwick fire“, October 23, 2013