PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — The RCMP say the bodies of three people have been found at the scene of a motel fire in downtown Prince George, B.C.
Cpl. Craig Douglass says emergency services were called to the Econo Lodge City Centre Inn on Victoria Street around 9 a.m. Wednesday.
He says fire crews tackled the blaze, which engulfed a portion of the building, while police assisted with staff and guests who evacuated the structure.
At about 12:30 p.m., Douglass says personnel clearing the building found the three bodies, but he did not have details about their identities.
Douglass says an investigation is underway and determining the cause of the fire will take some time.
The RCMP are also working to determine if anyone is missing, but Douglass says with so many people fleeing the area and others gathering to observe the blaze, that has been difficult.
"You can imagine a scene like this is chaos," he says.
The BC Coroners Services says it has begun a fact-finding investigation, but it is in its early stages and no other information can be released at this time.
"We are investigating to determine who died, and to investigate how, where, when and by what means," spokesman Andy Watson says.
Choice Hotels Canada, which owns the Econo Lodge brand, says in a statement the property will be closed until further notice.
"We extend our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and will support the owner of the hotel to do everything they can to work with the authorities with their ongoing investigation."
— By Amy Smart in Vancouver.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2020.
The Canadian Press