Joanne Savard was in her room Monday night when a horrific tragedy happened outside her window.

“I guess you would say that I was an ear-witness more than anything,” said Joanne Savard, a resident of Mount St Mary Hospital.

Victoria Ffre crews were called to the hospital around eight in the evening to reports of someone suffering burns. When they arrived, crews say the fire was out and contained to a single chair. That’s when the coroner was called in. They are now investigating the death of Stephanie Odinson, a patient in her late 50s.

Savard knew Odinson.

“Just playing bingo, a bingo buddy,” said Savard.

Savard is bound to a wheelchair and can’t get out of bed but when she was watching TV on Monday night, she started to hear screams. At first, she thought it was coming from her television but when she turned it off, they continued.

“I looked over and some of the care aids and some of the staff were running up to the window just in the sitting area right outside my room and the agast on their face was a little bit discerning,” said Savard.

That’s when she knew something horrible must have happened.

“She was screaming a few times before it had stopped,” said Savard.

And now knows what she heard was Odinson in her final minutes.

Other residents and Savard have raised concerns about the facility not having adequate staffing.

“Just different things in my care where I desire more people working, they need more help, but as far as my general care is concerned I am happy,” said Savard.

Isobel Mackenzie the senior’s advocate with the province of B.C., says Mount St. Mary Hospital is meeting all requirements.

“This particular facility is at full staffing they, in fact, provide 3.36 hours of care per resident care and they had that full compliment on when the incident happened,” said Mackenzie.

Residents say Odinson had mobility issues and smoked, something Savard believes may have played a part.

“I knew there was a cigarette involved,” said Savard.

The hospital is calling Odinson’s death a tragic accident but what exactly happened there Monday night will now be investigated by the coroner and the province who issues the facilities license.

Luisa Alvarez