Coquitlam RCMP is appealing for more information regarding the suspicious fire that destroyed the Hazel Trembath Elementary school.
In a press conference Thursday, Mounties said more tips are needed to help push forward their investigation.
“Since the fire, investigators have collected 200 hours of surveillance video, have conducted hundreds of witness statements and have followed up on numerous tips from the community,” Cpl. Alexa Hodgins said.
“The cause of the fire is still under investigation and will take several months to determine the cause.”
A warm welcome as Hazel Trembath students head back to class
On Oct. 14, large plumes of smoke billowed high above the school in Port Coquitlam, which was largely destroyed in the fire. The fire was ignited around 3 a.m. on the backside of the school.
The school was unoccupied at the time and there were no reported injuries.
A nearby resident spoke with Global News at the scene at the time of the fire.
“My husband woke me up and said the school was on fire … devastating, obviously,” said Kim O’Neill, who is also a parent of a student at the school.
“The cloud of smoke (was) unreal and the flames were sky-high. It’s a horrendous thing that has happened to our community.”
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The school housed more than 250 students, according to the Coquitlam School District. Those students have been moved to a temporary school — the Winslow Centre.
On Monday, students at the Winslow Centre greeted the new arrivals with treats, balloons and posters to make them feel at home during the transition.
“I am just really excited and nervous and I am super grateful for all the schools that helped us and donated stuff. It’s just really amazing,” said student Maya.
“(I miss) the playgrounds. It was really fun playing ‘grounders’ because it was the perfect height. It was really fun because there were three playgrounds so you didn’t have to play on just one.”
The centre has been renovated to accommodate younger students. The school district said it will be at least three years until construction begins on rebuilding the school.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550.
Outpouring of support for teachers, students of B.C. school destroyed by fire
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