Fire Contained but Continues to Burn at Pier Park in New Westminster

Fire Contained but Continues to Burn at Pier Park in New Westminster
A fire boat battles a fire at Pier Park along the Fraser River in New Westminster, B.C. on Sunday, September 13, 2020. A waterfront park along the Fraser River in New Westminster, B.C., has been extensively damaged by a major fire. New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote called the situation at Pier Park "devastating" in a social media message posted late Sunday night. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Shane MacKichan

A four-alarm fire that started around 8:00 pm Sunday night at the Timber Wharf section of the Westminster Pier Park, in New Westminster B.C., is contained but continues to burn.

The blaze ripped through the pier, shutting down the SkyTrain service and traffic in the area until late Sunday night.

The New Westminster fire department battled the blaze with the help of firefighters from Vancouver, Richmond, Delta and Coquitlam.

Vancouver sent out fire boats to assist with the dock fire.

A video posted on Twitter by the New Westminster Firefighters @NewWestFF shows a stretch of the burning pier being quickly extinguished by the fire boat crew.

Nearby schools suspended classes and the police are asking people to stay away from the area. The city also closed services as of Tuesday due to the poor air quality, made worse by wildfires in the United States.

Westminster residents are advised by the city to remain indoors and keep doors and windows closed.

New Westminster mayor Jonathan Cote said Sunday night on Twitter that the fire was contained but the old part of the pier will be completely destroyed.

City councilor Patrick Johnstone explained in a blog post that the fire was contained to the Timber Wharf and that thanks to the New Westminster Fire department and crews from across the region, damage to the western half of the park pier was limited.

Cote gave a fire update Monday morning saying that he went to the site.  The fire was contained to the old pier but was still burning under the deck.  The fire will likely last for days until they can lift or remove the deck to extinguish the fire underneath.

The park’s iconic art installation, a giant W made from shipping containers erected in 2015, called WOW Westminster, is still standing following the pier fire.

No one was hurt in the fire.  The cause remains unknown.

The Westminster Pier Park connects visitors to the Fraser River and was nominated as the #1 boardwalk around Vancouver in 2015, with equal parts built on land and water.

Westminster Pier Park has been recognized for its engineering and design excellence over the years receiving several awards.