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Firefighter hurt as overnight blaze destroys provincial courthouse in Golden, B.C.

March 13 fire response at the Golden B.C. courthouse. (Facebook/Golden B.C. Fire-Rescue) March 13 fire response at the Golden B.C. courthouse. (Facebook/Golden B.C. Fire-Rescue)

Fire swept through the courthouse in the town of Golden in southeastern British Columbia, injuring one firefighter battling the flames.

Golden Fire Department deputy chief Rob Perry offered few details but confirmed the injury and said the firefighter was treated in hospital.

RCMP Cpl. James Grandy said the alarms were reported in the Golden Law Courts and Service B.C. building at around 3:30 a.m. on Monday.

He said it was too early to tell if the blaze was suspicious.

Flames were still shooting from the single-storey building more than five hours after volunteer firefighters first arrived.

Fire Chief Mike Pecora said the building, which houses the town's provincial court, was likely a total loss.

Perry said crews were using ladders to pour water on the top of the building.

"The roof has collapsed, so the fire is underneath that,'' he said.

While it is spring break for some schools in the district, the Golden Alternate School, which is across the street from the courthouse, is in session and Perry said an evacuation was not expected.

The wind was moving in the opposite direction, he said.

Access to the Golden and District Hospital, which neighbours the courthouse, was difficult at the height of the blaze because hoses were blocking the street and water was pooling at the front of the building, but the hospital remained open.

Perry, who is an arson investigation technician, said he will be working with RCMP investigators to determine what caused the fire.

"Early observations point to it being a purposeful arson," said RCMP in a Monday news release.

Provincial court was not in session Monday, but cases were scheduled for later this week.

Perry said court staff are "trying to sort out'' next steps.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 13, 2023. Top Stories

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