More than five years after an intentionally-set blaze devastated White Rock’s Five Corners neighbourhood, police have announced arrests.
The update was shared at 6 p.m. Friday (July 30).
“On July 6, 2021 the White Rock RCMP arrested two males, one from the local area and another from outside the Lower Mainland for a number of offences, including arson, break and enter, and theft,” a news releases states.
They were released and charges will be recommended, it continues. Further details on the accused was not disclosed.
Police said last August that a “resolution” to the “complex” investigation had been expected by the end of 2020.
Flames swept through the Five Corners district at around 5 a.m. on May 15, 2016, after fire broke out at the under-construction Allure condominium, located immediately behind the 15210 Pacific Ave. Ocean Ridge complex.
It left nearly 100 residents of the four-storey Ocean Ridge homeless and a dozen businesses grappling with devastating damage.
Residents of the Ocean Ridge were evacuated to the Centennial Arena, with many arriving in their pajamas, with little else in the way of belongings. Some had pets in tow, others said their pets did not make it out of the building.
The fire also wreaked havoc on the nearby Star of the Sea Hall.
Several fire trucks were called in from neighbouring Surrey while crews fought to get the blaze under control. The efforts put a significant strain on White Rock’s water supply, forcing crews to connect to Surrey’s water lines for more than six hours, and prompting a citywide boil-water advisory that remained in place for three days.
Police announced 10 days after the fire that its cause had been deemed suspicious.
In Friday’s release, Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls said the ensuing investigation “involved multiple evidentiary scenes, forensic analysis, the involvement of approximately 120 police and civilian witnesses that held a small piece of the puzzle or contributed to the investigation over the last 5 years, and the assistance of over a dozen RCMP detachments and units.”
“There were some dedicated officers and municipal employees that were persistent in uncovering all the available evidence to get this investigation to this point,” Pauls continued.
“We would like to thank the community and victims of this fire for their patience in awaiting this news. We are hopeful that the ongoing proceedings will allow for further closure as the details are disclosed in the judicial process.”
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