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Fire that destroyed part of the New Westminster pier ‘could burn for days’




NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) – The fire that destroyed the old part of a pier along the banks of the Fraser River in New Westminster late Sunday is likely to continue to burn for several days, according to New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote.

The fire started in Pier Park near the SkyTrain Bridge around 8 a.m. Sunday and burned to the west, through the giant W statue, volleyball courts and the seaside sleeping area.

“The fire could go on for, potentially, two days,” Cote said.

READ ALSO: Old Westminster pier section destroyed by fire, ‘smoke is very toxic’

The scaffolding board should be raised so that firefighters can remove the remaining combustion materials.

“Until they are able to do it, the fire will continue to burn under the deck.”

Cote said he was happy to learn that the new part of Pier Park is likely to be preserved, even though the old part is a total loss.

“It’s really devastating and heartbreaking for the City of New Westminster. “Pier Park has really become an important part of the collection,” he added.

Cote said anyone can avoid the downtown area at the moment due to poor air quality.

The old pier consisted of creosote-treated timber, sending highly toxic fumes into the air, according to the city fire department.

As a result of this and ongoing air quality advice from Vancouver Metro due to fire smoke, classes in Queensborough Middle, Queen Elizabeth Elementary School and Qayqayt in New Westminster were suspended on Monday.

The courtroom in New Westminster was also closed Monday due to fire and air quality issues, while traffic was also affected, around Front Street, in particular.

TransLink, at one point, suspended Expo Line service between Columbia and Scott Road stations due to the fire, citing smoke as a problem.

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