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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Cranbrook Bucks sign first player to team

The Key City’s newest hockey franchise has begun to take shape as… Continue reading

Columbia Valley RCMP searching for missing Invermere woman

Police believe Belinda Eugene may be hitch hiking to the Kamloops area

Final preparations, practicing at WFP ahead of BC Curling Championships

Western Financial Place was a hive of activity on Monday, Jan. 27… Continue reading

Columbia Basin Trust shuffles board, new leaders at the table

The Trust is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors

Health Foundation hits $1 million mark of $1.2 million fundraiser

The East Kootenay Foundation for Health has $200K more to go to purchase SPECT CT machine

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police search for man who went missing from Vernon hotel

Jay Rosenberger, 38, was last seen Friday

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Whistleblower says Iranian-Americans questioned at Peace Arch crossing were targeted

Immigration lawyer says response from Customs Border Protection is a ‘total cover up’

Most Read