A section of New Westminster’s Pier Park is probably “completely destroyed” by a massive fire: the mayor

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A massive four-alarm fire broke out on Sunday evening in New Westminster, British Columbia.New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote took to Twitter, calling the fire “devastating.”

“The fire is confined to the old part of the pier, but it is likely that the old pier in the park will be completely destroyed,” Cote wrote.

“At the moment, the cause is not known. We don’t think anyone was caught in this fire, ”he added.

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“It’s pretty serious. It’s burning under the batteries, ”said New Westminster City Councilor Chuck Puchmayr, who said he recently spoke with the city’s fire chief.

Puchmayr said the city had requested the help of a fire boat from the Vancouver Fire Department.

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The city also enlisted the help of the Coquitlam, Richmond and Delta fire departments, Puchmayr said.

Pier Park is a 2.5-kilometer stretch of reclaimed waterfront between the Fraser River and Front Street that was built in 2009 at a cost of about $ 24 million, according to Puchmayr.

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“Right now it’s seriously compromised here, and this fire seems to be burning underneath,” Puchmayr said. “Very difficult to attack him from above.”

“It spreads because it burns below. It literally spreads, then takes control of the upper part, which is landscaped with lawn and volleyball and basketball courts. And, you know, it’s a pretty amazing structure … was a pretty incredible structure.

The structure is raised above the river on highly flammable creosote-coated piles, which former New Westminster mayor Wayne Wright said had caught fire.

“It can go up pretty quickly, and it looks like it does,” he said.

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Wright told Global News he hopes the downstream sections of the jetty will withstand the flames better, as they are built on steel piles.

The famous WOW Westminster sculpture created by Brazilian artist José Resende, consisting of four “W” shaped shipping containers, appears to have been caught in the fire.

“It represents New Westminster and the workers who are here in this part of the country,” Wright said of the sculpture.

Koula Papakyriakopoulos owns the Taverna Greka restaurant across Front Street from the park and said the fire did not seem serious at first.

“We saw the fire trucks here, but we didn’t see a fire for a while, then all of a sudden the W was on fire, it was pretty terrifying,” she said. .

The loss of the park will have a significant impact on businesses and residents of the region, she added.

“The city has done a great job of restoring it, making it beautiful, people go there to play volleyball, the kids go to play in the park,” she says.

“The people from the park will come to the restaurant and have dinner, so it’s sad that part of the park is lost.”

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Front Street has been closed to traffic as crews fight the blaze.

TransLink says SkyTrain service between Columbia and Scott Road stations has also been suspended due to the fire.

The cause of the fire remains uncertain.

More soon…

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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