Fire damages businesses, BC Hydro scam in Coquitlam
By Angela Espinoza, News Editor
In the early morning of January 22, a severe fire broke out at Eagle Ridge Square, a strip mall in Coquitlam.
The fire is believed to have started in the Sushi Mori restaurant, eventually spreading to several other stores and causing smoke and water damage to others.
Reportedly at least 30 firefighters appeared at the scene, successfully eliminating the fire after several hours. While no injuries were reported, several businesses will need time for repairs in the coming weeks or months. Amongst other damages, part of the Pallas Athena Greek restaurant’s storefront and ceiling eventually caved in.
“It certainly had the potential to spread to all of the businesses there,” said Fire Chief Wade Pierlot in an interview with the Vancouver Sun.
The latest BC Hydro scam has been targeting Coquitlam residents, as well as residents of the Okanagan.
Reportedly on January 13, Coquitlam police were informed of several calls falsely presented as being from BC Hydro. The January 13 calls were targeted at a Coquitlam-based business demanding nearly $2,000 for a supposed “overdue power bill,” as reported by the Tri-City News.
“Fortunately the shopkeeper didn’t fall for the scam and reported the call to police so we can prevent others from being victimized,” Corporal Jamie Chung said in a press release.
As calls are expected to continue, Coquitlam RCMP are insisting businesses and residents who receive similar calls to immediately contact BC Hydro at 1-800-BCHYDRO for clarification.
Those who may have already been taken advantage of by the scam are encouraged to contact Coquitlam RCMP and/or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Andrew Boyd, founder of New Westminster’s Westcoast Genesis Society, passed away on January 14 at the age of 55.
The Genesis Society was started by Boyd in 2000 as a social housing project for the homeless, mentally ill, and those struggling with legal troubles.
Boyd’s career spanned many years and included a presidency at the New Westminster Downtown Residents Association, recovery counselling in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside, and involvement with the Correctional Service of Canada, the New Westminster Homelessness Coalition Society, and the New Westminster Inter-Agency Council.
“Andrew had a vision for assisting marginalized men and worked tirelessly to make it happen both at Genesis House and at Maria Keary Cottage,” said Genesis House business manager Robert Chesterman in an email to the New West News Leader.
A memorial service was held in Boyd’s honour on January 23 at Holy Trinity Cathedral.