On March 18th, 2013 at approximately 4:20 pm, patrol members from the New Westminster Police Department were called to assist New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services for a reported explosion in a residence in the 1000 block of 5th Avenue. Upon arrival, NWPD members located a male outside the residence suffering from significant burn injuries.
Unsure of the cause of the explosion, NWPD members entered the residence to ensure there were no additional victims. Once the residence was cleared, members backed out to secure the scene and evacuate several surrounding houses.
Further investigation determined that the occupant had accidentally ignited a container of flammable material causing a flash fire that blew out his front window.
The investigation continues and no charges have been recommended at this time. The victim remains in a local area hospital in serious but stable condition.
The NWPD would like to take this opportunity to remind the public to be extremely cautious when dealing with flammable materials, especially indoors. Members of the public who have questions on the safe handling and storage of flammable or combustible materials should contact their local fire department.