Forty firefighters responded to a two alarm fire at a Coquitlam apartment building in the 1200 block of Howie Avenue in Coquitlam shortly after 4 a.m. PT on Saturday.
Police say the fire began in a suite on the second floor and quickly spread to the apartments above, but fire crews were able to put the blaze out before it got out of control.
About 100 residents were forced from their homes, and the woman who lived in the suite where the fire is believed to have started was taken to the Royal Columbian Hospital where she remains in critical condition.
Staff Sgt. Hector Lee with Coquitlam RCMP told CBC News today that police had been called to the woman’s suite several times and that she may be living with mental illness, and that the fire has been ruled suspicious.
“It’s suspicious because we don’t how it started. There have been some records from RCMP and BC Ambulance that they have been at the suite in the past 24 hours,” Lee says.
The other residents of the building spent most of the day taking shelter from the cold temperatures at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex and will be put up in a hotel until Sunday, when it’s expected that most will be able to return home.