On March 2nd at 1140 hrs. the New Westminster Police Service was contacted by the New Westminster Fire Department advising that they required assistance at an apartment fire located in the 800 blk. of St. Andrews St. At scene, fire and police discovered a fifth floor apartment fully involved in fire.
Fire fighters addressed the fire while police officers assisted in the evacuation of the apartment residents. New Westminster police Victim Services attended to assist with the displaced residents. Shortly after extinguishing the fire, fire fighters discovered the body of a deceased female within the suite.
Police officers secured the building and perimeter as a potential crime scene. New Westminster police Major Crime and Forensic Identification section members attended as part of the investigation team.
In the early evening, the fire department declared the building safe for residents to return to their suites. The victim suite suffered extensive smoke damage however, it was cleared of noxious fumes and was deemed structurally-sound.
The deceased has yet to be positively identified. The cause of death will be established at autopsy. The suite in question is still under police lockdown for forensic examination. Upon the completion of the police scene examination, fire department investigators will establish the cause of the fire and any contributing factors. The investigation continues.