EDMONTON, Alberta, Aug. 3 (UPI) — Neighbors of a man killed in an explosion and fire at an Edmonton, Alberta, seniors’ residence Tuesday told police he had talked of killing himself.
Early Tuesday, a car in the parking lot of the Bethany Senior Citizens Home exploded and shortly after, an explosion in a third-floor unit started a fire that killed Ken Kopiak, 63, who lived in the unit. He also owned the car that exploded.
Neighbor Anna Fedorio, who was in her 70s, also died in the building fire, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
Eight of the building’s 59 other residents were hospitalized with smoke inhalation, the Edmonton Journal reported.
The car and building fires were almost immediately classed as arsons and the death of Fedorio was being treated as a homicide, police told reporters.
Several residents who knew Kopiak said he had recently talked of suicide and being depressed.
Friend Ron Williams said Kopiak first mentioned killing himself last spring when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer on top of diabetes and kidney failure, the Journal said.
Williams said Kopiak had asked other residents last week to give some photographs and personal items to members of his family.
Damage to the 36-year-old building was estimated at $1.3 million and repairs were expected to take at least two months, the reports said.
The Red Cross was looking for alternate housing for the evacuated residents, the Journal said.