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Burnaby Hospital fire that contributed to COVID-19 outbreak deemed arson: RCMP

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP say a fire that has been blamed for contributing to an outbreak of COVID-19 at a Metro Vancouver hospital was set deliberately.

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP say a fire that has been blamed for contributing to an outbreak of COVID-19 at a Metro Vancouver hospital was set deliberately. 

The Mounties say in a news release that they have set up a dedicated witness phone line and email for anyone with information on the Burnaby Hospital fire on Nov. 15 to come forward. 

The emergency department could not admit patients while it was temporarily closed and some patients were relocated to other hospitals, while medical appointments and some surgeries were also rescheduled. 

Fraser Health has said the movement of patients for their immediate safety made the fire a contributing factor in a COVID-19 outbreak that was first declared at the hospital on Nov. 9. 

Fraser Health said the fire started in one wing and affected several other parts of the building. 

More than 100 patients and staff were associated with the outbreak and at least 10 people died. The outbreak was declared over Dec. 11.

A new outbreak was declared three days later after three patients in the medicine unit tested positive. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 17, 2020. 

The Canadian Press