Winnipeg Police have identified the two people who died in a Point Douglas fire early Thursday morning.
Brenda Campbell, 51, and John Bendon, 61, were killed in the rooming house blaze on Austin Street North near Main Street and Sutherland Avenue.
As many as 15 people were inside when the flames erupted and several had to be transported to hospital due to various injuries.
On Friday, police announced the fire was deliberately set and their Homicide Unit was taking over the investigation.
The rooming house was a known trouble spot in the community.
North Point Douglas Residents Association Chair Sel Burrows says he was just speaking to police about the home the day before the fire.
“Community Support Unit police officers were in my kitchen yesterday discussing issues in Point Douglas and this address was one. We were discussing the problem of trying to identify which suite the drug dealer that was living in there was living in,” he said.
Burrows says when they know the landlord of a problem house, they will call them and alert them about a problem tenant. He says typically, that solves the problem.
“Unfortunately we didn’t know the landlord of this place and I’m feeling a little guilty I didn’t work harder to find him,” he said.
Burrows says Austin Street used to be one of the worst streets in all of Winnipeg, but has recently been cleaned up. This was one of the only difficult houses remaining.
Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Chief John Lane says this nine-room rooming house was registered and legal. He says it had been inspected regularly and was in compliance with fire protection regulations.
He couldn’t say whether or not the fire alarms were working.
Anyone with information is asked to call police, or Crime Stoppers at 204 786 TIPS.