A Trail family is left shaken after someone tried to burn down their house while they slept upstairs.
The unsettling crime happened between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. Tuesday, when an unknown person entered the Lamoureux’s unlocked back door with a jerry can of fuel, dumped it on their kitchen floor then set the wooden floor and table alight.
Angela Lamoureux says the fuel was from a recent car repair and hadn’t been disposed of. The fire burned a large hole in the floor and blackened the dining table, but fortunately, because the accelerant was dirty, the flames died out before spreading through the kitchen and downstairs living room.
Still very unnerved, Angela shared her story with the Trail Times on Wednesday.
It was a quiet summer evening when she and husband Jarrod went to bed around 2 a.m., which was later than usual because their three kids were off visiting relatives.
Their front entrance is always locked but with the kids gone and the dogs being let in and out the back way, that night the back door was unlatched.
“I woke up around 7 a.m. and could smell something funny,” Angela began. “But I didn’t think anything about it, I opened my phone and someone had posted about the house fire (Shaver’s Bench, around 4 a.m. Tuesday) … And with so many forest fires I thought that made sense, it just kind of smelled like barbeque so I didn’t think anything of it.”
With no kids in the house, the couple didn’t have to jump out of bed too early, so she lounged upstairs until just after 9 a.m.
“I went downstairs and let the dogs out and everything was fine in the living room,” she recalled. “But when I went into the kitchen, there’s a yellow jerry can with fuel dumped all over the floor and a burn spot in the middle of it.”
Stunned at the sight, Angela called out for her husband.
“Then we called the police and they were here all day,” she said. “Constable Eric Brown was really quite lovely and stayed all day and the forensics guys came as well.”
The Trail Times asked Acting Sgt. Devon Reid about the case, and he confirmed police are waiting for the crime scene analysis and could not comment while the investigation is actively underway.
Right from the start Angela says she was certain the act was random. For 11 years the Lamoureux’s have peacefully raised their three kids in the family home, located near St. Anthony’s Church.
She acknowledged the ongoing perception that the Gulch is a drug den with a number of ne’er do wells – but that is not their experience in the neighbourhood – both parents work at the regional hospital, the kids go to school – so it’s pretty much the usual life for a family of five.
“I am not saying, ‘those people,’ but we are not involved with that kind of stuff,” Angela shared. “I’ve been here 11 years and I’ve never had anything happen … not a lick of issues … we are not judgmental and say ‘Hi’ regardless of who you are … if you treat them with respect, they treat you with respect.”
Angela speculated that the arson could have been a case of mistaken address – and her neighbours, like her, are astonished that a potentially lethal crime happened in their neck of the woods.
“We hear about things like this happening in the city, you don’t hear about things like this happening at home,” she shared. “My brain is so scrambled … my concern is for my children and for other people.”
Her Facebook message and photos of the incident have been shared hundreds of times over the past 48 hours.
“I waited all day to post it because I wanted to talk to my children first,” she said. “Then I wanted to share what was going on to get some tips, and also because there are many single people out there, and many people living alone.”
Having experienced such a terrifying ordeal, Angela remains very optimistic about the Trail community.
“There’s been such outpouring of support,” she said. “People are sharing my Facebook post and telling us they’re so glad we are okay and it’s great the (story) is getting out to people so they keep themselves safe.
“That’s the important part,” added Angela. “The community as a whole, is being really supportive and I think that’s just the way we are in the Kootenays.”