The woman who died in an apartment fire in Esquimalt on Sunday afternoon is being remembered as an artist who loved to create cartoons.
Judy Sigmund has identified the woman as Judith Burke who lived on the fourth floor of the building. Sigmund was a friend of Burke.
According to Sigmund, Burke trained as a scientist and had a degree from Royal Roads University. Burke previously worked for the provincial government and was employed at Wal-Mart at the time of her death. She enjoyed painting and drew cartoons under the alias, Water Rose.
Burke died after a fire ripped through the fourth floor of an apartment building at 843 Craigflower Road. The BC Coroners Service has confirmed a woman in her 60s died in the fire and the death was being investigated. Police have finished their investigation and the Esquimalt fire department hopes to complete its investigation Wednesday. Air quality assessments are still underway and residents will be able to move back in once those are done.
Alysen Cameron, who lived in the same building, worked with Burke at Wal-Mart and said she was quite kind. Cameron said when she started at Wal-Mart, Burke recognized her as a neighbour and showed her the layout of the store.
“She approached people when she felt that she could with information that was helpful,” Cameron said.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched by the Esquimalt Church of the Nazarene to raise $50,000 – approximately $20,000 – for each family affected by the blaze. According to the church, as many as 100 residents have been displaced and are staying temporarily at the church.