Arrest made in New Westminster, B.C., pier fire that could take weeks to extinguish
VANCOUVER -- A suspect has been arrested for arson-related offences in connection to a fire that destroyed a large part of New Westminster's waterfront pier.
New Westminster police said Thursday they do not believe the public is at risk and are not looking for additional suspects at this time.
The suspect has been released on several conditions, and he has not been named by police.
The major crime unit is still investigating the fire, and anticipates forwarding a report to Crown for consideration of charges.
“This investigation is continuing and we would still encourage anyone with information to come forward and speak with our investigators," Sgt. Sanjay Kumar said in a statement.
The destructive fire broke out Sunday night at the Westminster Pier Park, and officials said the blaze could take weeks to fully extinguish.
On Wednesday, the notable New Westminster "W" art installation was removed from the pier, and the city said the piece could not be saved.
"We are sad that we are losing this public art piece, as it was iconic to our city and waterfront," New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote said in a statement.
"We did everything in our power to save it, but we weren't able to do it in a way that was feasible and safe."
Emergency crews found the timber wharf was too unstable and the connections between the art piece and the wharf had been too badly degraded to remove the piece intact safely.
The art piece was installed in 2015, and the shipping containers forming a giant "W" had become a well recognized art piece along the Fraser River.
The mayor described the fire as "heartbreaking" on Monday, but said that part of the pier would eventually be rebuilt.
Fraser Health says air quality in the area continues to be impacted by both wildfire smoke and the pier fire.