An electric towel warmer in a Shaughnessy Street barbershop is being blamed for starting a blaze that destroyed five businesses in downtown Port Coquitlam last week.
Investigators do not believe the fire is suspicious and said flames likely travelled up into the ceiling before spreading to other businesses.
PoCo Fire and Emergency Services wrapped up their investigation Wednesday afternoon, after crews were hampered from accessing the site because of the unsafe conditions on the premises.
Chief Nick Delmonico told The Tri-City News that an attempt to enter the structure on Tuesday was thwarted because of an unsafe air conditioning units on the roof. It was removed later in the day and investigators were able to gain access to the buildings Wednesday.
The properties have now been turned over to the owners and businesses in the area are able to enter the sites and survey the damage for the first time since last week's incident.
Over the weekend, several business owners in the area not affected by the fire received notices from the Coquitlam RCMP asking if anyone had seen anything suspicious in the lead up to the fire.
"Due to the time of day, many people would have been leaving for work," said a leaflet dropped at one of the downtown PoCo businesses by the RCMP. "If you witnessed anything suspicious in the early morning hours of July 30, 2015, in the 2600 block of Shaughnessy Street, the Coquitlam RCMP would like to hear from you."
However, Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Jamie Chung said the notices are standard procedure in the case of a fire and that at no point did investigators believe the blaze was deliberately set.
"Putting up a poster is basically an investigative avenue just in case some people saw something," he said. "No calls have come in."
While the fire destroyed four structures, many downtown PoCo businesses and residents were affected by the fire.
Shaughnessy Street was shut down in both directions for most of last Thursday while nearby city hall and some neighbouring apartment buildings were temporarily evacuated. TransLink was also forced to re-route several buses in the area.