Arson suspected in major fire at courthouse in Golden, BC

Crews are seen responding to a serious fire at the courthouse in Golden, BC, early Monday.  A firefighter was slightly injured.  (Jet Belgraver/CBC - photo credit)

Crews are seen responding to a serious fire at the courthouse in Golden, BC, early Monday. A firefighter was slightly injured. (Jet Belgraver/CBC – photo credit)

A firefighter was injured as crews responded to a serious blaze at the provincial courthouse in Golden, BC that appears to have been started intentionally, according to the RCMP.

The City of Golden said crews were called to the Golden Law Courts and Service BC building on Park Drive around 3:30 a.m. PT Monday. Fire Chief Mike Pecora said the fire burned for more than 10 hours before it was declared “out” at 1:15 p.m

“You could see the smoke … As we got closer, you could actually see two separate areas of flames from the top of the courthouse,” said Courtney Beaulieu, who walked past the fire on her way to work on Mount 7 Taxi at 7:30 a.m

“We had a driver go to the hospital to get something and he said the courthouse was as good as gone.”

Jet Belgraver/CBC

Jet Belgraver/CBC

No one was in the building at the time of the fire, but the city said a member of the Golden Fire Department was taken to Cranbrook Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Pecora said it happened when a crew member was on the roof trying to put out the fire and fell two stories to the ground.

“It sounds like they broke their elbow and shoulder,” he told CBC Radio West Presenter Sarah Penton.

Flames 30 feet high

Police said in a statement that initial observations indicated the fire was the result of “premeditated arson”. Investigators are expected to be on site throughout the day.

RCMP said it was too early to say the extent of the damage.

“As far as I know, significant damage has been done to it, so I assume that at this point in time at no point in the future will it be possible to hold court there,” said Cpl. James Grandy.

Pecora said when crews arrived about 12 minutes after receiving the initial call, the flames were about 30 feet high, “which tells us [the fire] been on the road for a while.”

As an older brick building, the courthouse is not very structurally sound and crews scaled walls that could fall of their own accord before allowing the RCMP to begin their investigation.

According to Pecora, fighting the fire was made more difficult by the fact that it was a courthouse, which meant there were many highly secured areas that crews could not get to immediately.

The courthouse had no hearings scheduled for Monday but did have sessions later in the week. At a news conference, BC Attorney General Niki Sharma said she had been briefed on the “worrisome” fire and that the ministry would have more information on the continuity of court services later on Monday.

The Golden Hospital is opposite the fire. Interior Health said the building was unaffected but access to the area was restricted because fire engines were working from the street.

“As this is an active event we are of course monitoring but no impact on services or patients at this time,” the hospital said in an email.

Jet Belgraver/CBC

Jet Belgraver/CBC


Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button