No charges in August Coquitlam explosion

Mounties say they are still figuring out the cause

Mounties are still investigating an explosion at a Coquitlam home last month but no charges have been laid.

Cpl. Michael McLaughlin told The Tri-City News Thursday that police are still trying to figure out the cause of the incident but investigators have determined that there is no threat to the public.

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“At this point, there are no charges,” he said. “The investigation is very much active. If we were to ever get to the point of charges or we were to determine there was evidence of any broader risk to the public, we would let you know right away.”

The incident occurred Aug. 14 at a house in the 1400-block of Ross Avenue near Schoolhouse Street shortly after 7 p.m. when a device police said was made out of readily available components exploded. A witness told The Tri-City News the blast sounded like the nine o’clock gun at Stanley Park. 

Police arrived to find one injured man, who was taken to hospital. When other explosive devices were found at the home, the RCMP’s explosives disposal unit was called to investigate. 

“We did do a couple of controlled detonations,” McLaughlin said at the time, although he wouldn’t give an exact number except to say it was “more than one.”

McLaughlin said the detonations were out of caution, adding, “We understand the concern in the neighbourhood.”

Forensic specialists examined the home looking for any other bomb components or any physical evidence or fingerprints that may indicate they were part of some potential criminal activity, he added.

Several blocks were taped off and buses were rerouted out of the area. One neighbour said her family was not allowed to return to their home until 1 a.m.

McLaughlin reiterated this week that police would not confirm the identity of the victim but a neighbour who did not give her name said at the time that the man was a Coquitlam firefighter for more than 20 years. 

CTV News reported at the time that property records show the registered owner of the home is Craig Banks. An employee with that name is listed in the city of Coquitlam’s annual statement of financial information as captain of operations with the fire department. A Coquitlam firefighter with that name was awarded a Governor General’s fire services exemplary service medal in May 2017.

• Anyone who saw or heard anything that might help determine what happened should call the detachment’s non-emergency line at 604-945-1550 and ask for the investigative support team.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

@gmckennaTC

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