RCMP make arrest in fatal motel fire

Prince George RCMP have identified a suspect in relation to last week's fatal fire at the Econo Lodge Motel. Saying the blaze, which claimed the lives of three people, appears to have been deliberately set, policed arrested a suspect on Saturday as part of an arson investigation.

"The suspect was subsequently released without charge, pending further investigation," RCMP said Tuesday. "Police are unable to comment further at this time, however are taking all necessary steps to advance this investigation in the interest of public safety."

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RCMP have also opened a criminal negligence investigation in answer to allegations that the motel's fire alarm did not sound when the fire broke out last Wednesday shortly before 9 a.m.

In an interview earlier this week, Prince George Fire Rescue deputy chief Paul Knudsgaard said building owners must bring in an accredited servicing technician on an annual basis to check fire safety systems.

RCMP said both investigations are complex and are a priority for the detachment. RCMP also said the B.C. Coroners Service is conducting a parallel investigation to identify the victims and determine how they died. The victims' names will not be released, RCMP said.

RCMP investigators turned over the scene at 910 Victoria St. to the insurer on Saturday.

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