Community remembers burn victim

Cody O' Conner was supposed to start third grade at Oliver Elementary School this fall.

But instead his classmates are missing him and an entire community is mourning his loss, after Cody died Friday, when he was taken off life support. 

"He was a very smiley, friendly boy, and we are very sad to lose him," said Principal Barton Tumlinson. "He was part of the Oliver Elementary School family here."

Cody, 8, suffered burns to 40 percent of his upper body, after a fire broke out in the motorhome where he was staying with his family at Centennial RV Park in Oliver.

Several people staying at the park were involved in putting out the fire that started on Aug. 28. Cody was pulled from the motorhome through a back window by Fire Chief Dan Skaros, who was on his way to a meeting when he smelled fire.

The boy was transported to BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver for care, including surgeries and skin grafts, and later moved to a hospice, so his family could be near to him.

The Oliver Fire Department has since issued a statement that reads: "On behalf of the Oliver Fire Department and all our families, we would like to express our deepest condolences to the O'Conner family. We are saddened to hear of Cody's passing and our prayers go out to his family."

The cause of the fire also remains under investigation, because the motorhome was badly burned inside, according to Rob Graham, an Oliver firefighter.

An employee at the Centennial RV Park, where Cody's mother worked, said staff is also saddened by the news of the boy's death.

She described Cody as a good, normal little boy.

An account is set up at the Royal Bank to assist the family, who lost not only their son, but all their possessions in the motorhome fire.

The account number is 235-01680-0035127964-Pearl M. Deprez.

A support fund for Cody is also set up at.

Meanwhile, at Oliver Elementary School, there is counselling available for students and they will be making cards this week for the boy's family.

"We are working with staff and students to support them," said Tumlinson.

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