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Investigators recover body of man who died in fiery Langley standoff

Don Bennett was living in an RV on a farm on Zero Avenue
The fire-gutted barn in the 23500 block of Zero Avenue. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

The body of a man who died in a fire after a confrontation with Langley RCMP has been recovered, said an independent watchdog organization.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) announced on Monday, Dec. 18 that the man involved in the incident has been located deceased.

“The search for the man, the affected person in the IIO’s investigation, was delayed until investigators could safely enter the fire-damaged building,” said a statement released by the agency, which investigates all incidents in which someone is killed or seriously injured during an interaction with police in B.C.

The victim has been identified by his family as 66-year-old Don Bennett.

Bennett was living in a rented RV on a farm in the 23500 block of Zero Avenue in South Langley. On Nov. 10 at about 10:15 a.m., Langley RCMP officers arrived to perform a wellness check in Bennett.

His daughter Nicky McIntosh said her father was non-violent and kind. He had been having mental health issues at the time.

When the RCMP arrived, Bennett’s RV was inside a closed barn, and a dog was blocking access for the RCMP.

Staff from the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) were called in, and used a catch pole to secure one animal. Another dog was inside the barn.

When officials opened the barn door to retrieve the second dog, a shot came from inside towards the LAPS officials. No one was hurt.

The standoff continued until 10:40 a.m. when fire erupted from inside the barn. Investigators believed Bennett had died in the fire.

The IIO report does not identify Bennett by name, but says that the B.C. Coroner’s Service has identified the recovered remains as those of the man who was the subject of the wellness check.

The IIO investigation into the case is ongoing, as is a B.C. Coroner’s Service investigation.

A horse lover, Bennett was a longtime member of the Back Country Horsemen of B.C. and was a frequent sight in Campbell Valley Regional Park or on South Langley trails, with horses or walking his dogs.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Langley man believed dead in police confrontation was kind, non-violent, family says

Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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