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Fire at Burnaby Hospital that contributed to COVID-19 outbreak was arson

Click to play video: 'Burnaby hospital struggles with COVID-19 outbreak' Burnaby hospital struggles with COVID-19 outbreak
Burnaby Hospital is still struggling to deal with the first major hospital outbreak of COVID-19 in B.C. Grace Ke has the details – Nov 25, 2020

A fire at Burnaby Hospital on Nov. 15 appears to have been arson, RCMP said Thursday.

The three-alarm fire, which broke out in a basement-level utility room, spread smoke to other areas of the building and forced the evacuation and closure of the emergency room.

Patients had to be moved to other areas of the hospital as a result, Fraser Health said, and thus contributed to the spread of a COVID-19 outbreak that eventually grew to 55 patients and five deaths.

Forty staff members also tested positive for the coronavirus.

Medical appointments and some surgeries were also rescheduled.

Click to play video: 'Burnaby hospital emergency room temporarily closed after fire' Burnaby hospital emergency room temporarily closed after fire
Burnaby hospital emergency room temporarily closed after fire – Nov 16, 2020

Read more: Fire at Burnaby Hospital a factor in COVID-19 outbreak affecting 55 patients

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The health authority declared the outbreak on Nov. 9 after finding evidence of transmission in a medicine unit.

The emergency room has reopened since the fire.

Burnaby RCMP is asking all staff and medical staff who were working at Burnaby Hospital, who may have seen anyone or anything suspicious or unusual, to come forward and speak to the police. Anyone who was at the hospital that night as well and who saw anything should also speak to the police.

A dedicated witness phone line and email have been set up.

Call: 604-646-9522 (this is not an anonymous tip line)

Email: bghfire@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Police are also hoping to speak to the person shown in the photo below. They say the person is not a suspect but they are asking them to contact Burnaby RCMP via the telephone number or email provided above.

Burnaby RCMP is hoping to speak to the person in this photo, taken on the night of the fire at the hospital.
Burnaby RCMP is hoping to speak to the person in this photo, taken on the night of the fire at the hospital.
Click to play video: 'Late-night blaze forces patients from Burnaby General Hospital' Late-night blaze forces patients from Burnaby General Hospital
Late-night blaze forces patients from Burnaby General Hospital – Nov 16, 2020

– More to come

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