Burnaby RCMP released this photo on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2020, of a possible suspect in an arson investigation at Burnaby Hospital on the night of Nov. 15, 2020. (RCMP handout)

Burnaby RCMP released this photo on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2020, of a possible suspect in an arson investigation at Burnaby Hospital on the night of Nov. 15, 2020. (RCMP handout)

Burnaby Hospital fire which contributed to COVID-19 outbreak was arson, police say

Fire contributed to an outbreak at the hospital, which saw 100 COVID-19 cases, as well as 10 deaths

Police believe a fire at Burnaby Hospital, which health authorities have said contributed to a COVID-19 outbreak, was arson.

In a statement Thursday (Dec. 17), Burnaby RCMP said that fire investigators have determined the Nov. 15 fire was deliberate. Officers have released a photo of a person of interest.

The three-alarm blaze first broke out in a utility room in the basement of the hospital. The emergency room was evacuated and subsequently closed for several days, forcing the cancellations of surgeries.

Fraser Health later confirmed that the fire contributed to an outbreak at the hospital, which saw 40 staff members and 60 patients test positive for COVID-19, as well as 10 deaths.

Burnaby RCMP is asking any staff who were working at Burnaby Hospital and who may have seen anyone or anything suspicious or unusual the day of the fire to contact police.

Police have set up a dedicated witness phone line, which is not anonymous, at 604-646-9522.


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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