Cumberland Fire Rescue is investigating a house fire that claimed a life.

An 85-year-old woman died in the blaze at the 3200-block of Sutton Road in Cumberland.

The Comox Valley RCMP says that investigators have examined all of the evidence at the scene and determined that the fire was not criminal in nature.

Crews were called to the fire at 5:00pm yesterday and the victim had perished by the time they arrived on scene.

Cumberland fire chief Mike Williamson said a health care worker saw that the house was on fire and called 911.

“We just went in and put the fire out (and) found the lady, she was fairly elderly,” Williamson said.  

Williamson said it was easy to put the fire out but the smoke was intense from the furniture.

“When I went to go in there, the smoke was thick black smoke about four feet down the walls all through the house,” Williamson said.

“That was the biggest issue was the smoke, not the fire,” he added.

Williamson said it was a combined kitchen-living room fire and smoke was billowing from a plush couch.

“They create a lot of smoke when they go on fire,” he said. 

The newer rancher was located about a block from the fire hall, so crews arrived quickly.

Williamson said the fire “couldn’t get any air” so it killed itself from all the smoke and no oxygen.

“Fires build, build, build and they’ll actually put themselves out because they’re looking for oxygen,” he said. “And then they build pressure and it starts to break the windows, and then all of a sudden it flares up again. We got it right before it went into that flare-up stage, or that flashover stage.”