The mayor of New Westminster, BC, has vowed to rebuild after a massive, four-fire fire destroyed part of Westminster Pier Park on Sunday night.
Fire crews say they were called to a brushstroke on Front Street near the SkyTrain Bridge around 8 p.m. The flames spread quickly with almost the entire pier engulfed in flames.
Teams say fire section in Pier New Westminster Park ‘could burn for days’
Teams believe the old part of the pier has been destroyed.
Mayor Jonathan Cot said Monday morning that the fire had entered the old pier structure.
The famous WOW Westminster sculpture, which consists of four transport containers in the shape of a W, appeared to have been caught in the fire.
The massive fire is likely to completely destroy part of New Westminsters Pier Park: the mayor
Cot said the 43-meter installation, which was created by Brazilian artist Jos Resende, would have to be taken down as part of the pier under the sculpture was badly damaged.
“Hopefully we will be able to save the ‘W’ and move it, but for now our focus is on extinguishing the fire,” he said.
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‘Affects everyone by touching’: BC residents urged to stay indoors, air quality remains among worst in world
Residents are urged to avoid the area as air quality, which has already been affected by fires south of the border, will be very poor. People living and working in downtown New Westminster are required to stay indoors as long as possible.
Poor air quality led to the suspension of classes at a small number of New Westminster schools on Monday while other schools approved early discharges.
The massive fire engulfs New Westminster Pier Park
Cot said the damaged parts of the pier will be rebuilt.
“Downtown New Westminster is the oldest part of British Columbia,” he said.
“We have seen our challenges and crises over the years, but we are a resilient community. “We will continue to fight and rebuild.”
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Westminster Pier Park is a 600-meter onboard ride along a reclaimed waterfront between the Fraser River and Front Street. Washed built in 2009 at a cost of about $ 24 million.
The area is a key part of the city where locals spent time outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Cot.
“2020 has been a difficult year for a variety of reasons,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then.
“When we were on our balcony yesterday seeing him on fire, he was heartbroken and I know the heartbreak was really felt by many residents in New Westminster.”
Police and fire officials are investigating and it is too early to determine what started the fire, Cot said.
With files by Simon Little and Amy Judd
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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