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VIDEO: One believed dead in fiery police confrontation on Langley’s 0 Avenue (update)

Police watchdog agency investigating Friday night incident

One man is believed dead after a confrontation with police in the 23500 block of 0 Avenue in Langley Friday night, Nov. 1, now being investigated by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO), the civilian-led police oversight agency responsible for conducting investigations into police-officer-involved incidents of death or serious harm.

An IIO statement released Saturday afternoon said information provided by the RCMP stated that, at approximately 10:15 a.m. Friday, police responded to a wellness check of a man with unknown whereabouts, later locating him in inside a building on the avenue, which runs along the border between Canada and the U.S.

“The man was reportedly armed with a weapon and then barricaded himself inside with police remaining outside into through the evening,” the statement said.

“During the incident, a fire ensued, destroying the building and it is believed the [man] died inside as the [he] was not observed leaving the building.”

The IIO is asking any person with relevant information or video footage of the incident to please call them at 1-855-446-8477 or use the contact form on the website.

A B.C. RCMP statement said Langley officers were requested to check on the well-being of an individual “who was distraught and made concerning comments.”

Officers located him at a residence in the 23500 block of 0 Avenue in Langley at around 4 p.m., the statement said.

When they reported shots being fired from inside the building the Lower Mainland Integrated Emergency Response Team (IERT) attended “and attempted in various ways to communicate with the individual who had barricaded himself inside the building.”

“At approximately 10:40 p.m., a fire erupted and eventually engulfed the building. It is believed the individual did not exit the building and is believed to have perished in the fire.”

Two police vehicles used for containment were heavily damaged by the fire.

According to social media posts, as many as 15 police vehicles arrived in the area early in the evening, and residents were ordered to shelter in place by officers.

ERT police were seen, along with fire trucks, paramedics, and what sounded like a police helicopter in the air.

One post from a person who lived nearby said a house behind them suddenly burst into flames and thick smoke and explosions could be heard.

The fire started shortly after the power went out, they said.

Saturday morning, several police vehicles could be seen at the location, what appeared to be a burnt-out trailer was still smouldering, and a nearby vehicle had suffered extensive fire damage.

Langley assistant fire chief Dale Steeple said they were called to the scene around 6 p.m. by RCMP as a precaution, but had to stay back.

Steeple said the fire broke out around 10:45 p.m.

“We couldn’t do anything to put it out,” Steeple said.

READ ALSO: B.C. RCMP officer cleared in shooting death of man pointing pellet pistol

READ ALSO: IIO closes investigation into Langley gun range death

Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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