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UPDATE: Woman dies from burns; Coroner questions RCMP suicide statement

A woman was transferred to Royal Inland Hospital in the early morning hours of March 31 after allegedly setting fire to herself in an apparent suicide attempt.
March 31, 2015 - 4:23 PM

KAMLOOPS - A woman has died from injuries sustained from burns suffered in a city park early this morning, March 31 and the cause of the fire is now being questioned.

Kamloops RCMP initially said the incident was a suicide, but B.C. Coroner's Service spokesperson Barb McLintock says it is too early to tell what transpired at the scene.

"i would not be suggesting that this was a suicide at this point," she said.

The Coroner's Service is investigating. This morning, Kamloops RCMP said it would not comment on the situation in the park because "we were dealing with a suicidal person at that location."

Earlier today, Capt. Darryl Cooper with Kamloops Fire Rescue says firefighters were called to Riverside Park around 2:15 a.m. after a woman was found on fire near two boulders west of the park’s Uji Feature Garden.

Cooper says the firefighters responded to what they thought was a routine first responder call, but upon arriving on the scene discovered the fire and didn’t have time to put on protective gear in order to try to save the woman’s life.

“They didn’t stop. They just went right to work,” Cooper said, noting three firefighters were taken to hospital after inhaling chemicals from the extinguishing equipment.

Cooper says the three firefighters were released from hospital this morning. In total, ten firefighters were on scene to extinguish the blaze. B.C. Ambulance Services transferred the woman to Royal Inland Hospital, where she died hours later. 

The captain says his crew debriefed after the call to collect their thoughts.

“(It was) pretty horrific for them to have to deal with something like that,” he says.

The identity of the woman is unknown. It's unclear why she was in the park.

Cpl. Cheryl Bush, a spokesperson for the Kamloops RCMP, was unavailable for comment. 

-This story was updated with more information from the B.C. Coroner's Service and to say police were unavailable for comment at 5:27 p.m., Tuesday, March 31. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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