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Investigators determine cause of Econolodge Motel fire…

PRINCE GEORGE, BC: The investigation into last week’s suspicious motel fire is continuing.

Just before 9:00 AM on Wednesday July 8, 2020, emergency services including Prince George Fire Rescue and the Prince George RCMP, were called to the 900 block of Victoria Street in Prince George for a report of a fire at an occupied motel. Three persons were found deceased after the fire was extinguished.

The fire was believed to be suspicious and the Prince George RCMP’s Serious Crime Section were brought in to lead the investigation. Assisted by Prince George Fire / Rescue, the BC Office of the Fire Commissioner, and North District RCMP, investigators now believe that the fire was deliberately set, and therefore arson.

On Saturday July 11, 2020, members of the Prince George RCMP located and arrested a suspect as part of this investigation. The suspect was subsequently released without charge, pending further investigation.

Police are unable to comment further at this time, however are taking all necessary steps to advance this investigation in the interest of public safety.

The Prince George RCMP’s Serious Crime Unit has also opened a Criminal Negligence investigation after reports that the fire alarm did not sound.

Both of these complex investigations are continuing and are a priority for the Detachment.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting a parallel fact-finding investigation to determine who died, and how, where, when and by what means they came to their unexpected deaths. Due to the privacy of the deceased, the Coroners Service will not be confirming or releasing identities.

On the afternoon of Sunday July 12th, 2020, RCMP investigators turned over the fire scene to the insurer.

Further details of the investigation may be released as they become available.

If you have any information about this investigation, please contact the Prince George RCMP at (250)561-3300 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1(800)222-8477 or online at www.pgcrimestoppers.bc.ca (English only). You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers. If you provide information that leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Written and released by Prince George RCMP

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