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

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Vehicle found “burnt to a crisp” off of Hwy 5

Update from Clearwater RCMP detachment

One day, your way

Information about this year’s Terry Fox (virtual) Run

Two residents remember fundraising for Terry Fox

This year marks 40 years since Terry Fox first embarked from St.… Continue reading

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Most Read