The suspicious fatal Econo Lodge fire in Prince George that claimed the lives of three. (Prince George RCMP)

Burns Lake couple escapes the Econo Lodge Fire in time

Escapes unharmed but loses their belongings

A Burns Lake couple managed to narrowly escape the fatal fire at the Econo Lodge in Prince George.

Cheyenne Wingo and her boyfriend had moved to the Econo Lodge for a month while trying to look for a more permanent place in Prince George. They had only been at the motel for around three or four days out of their month-long stay when they had to evacuate due to the fire.

The couple was fast asleep when the fire first started but due to lack of any fire detection or smoke detection or alarm system in the lodge, the couple continued to sleep through as the fire raged on. Wingo’s boyfriend woke up to crackling sounds and “what sounded like screams from people”, and proceeded to see what the commotion was about.

When he opened the door of their suite, he was greeted to the sight of a raging inferno just five feet away from their suite.

“He shut the door and screamed at me to get up and get dressed,” said Wingo, who managed to find a dress to put on, and pick up the truck keys. The couple grabbed their sandals and headed out the door.

Wingo, who was 31 weeks pregnant at the time of the fire said she was completely stressed out by this entire situation.

“The stress gave me a few Braxton Hicks contractions, but the doctor cleared me and the baby. I am relieved that we made it out in time, were safe and my baby was safe.,” said Wingo.

Earlier in her pregnancy, Wingo was in a car accident and was now caught up in this deadly fire incident.

“It has been quite an adventurous pregnancy,” said Wingo.

The couple went back to see if there was anything salvageable but realized that they had lost all their belongings in the fire.

“I am from the Lake Babine Nation in Burns Lake and a lot of the people have been helping us raise funds,” said Wingo who is back in Burns Lake with her boyfriend, until they can get back on their feet again.

“We are shaken up by the entire incident and especially sad since three people died in the fire,” said Wingo.

The fire was considered to be suspicious in nature however, there has been no new information about the origin or reason for the fire. The Prince George RCMP is however still looking into the evidence and urging the people to come forward with any information, dashcam video while driving by, cell phone images or security surveillance images.

If you have any information about this investigation, please contact the Prince George RCMP at (250)561-3300 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1(800)222-8477.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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