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Chilliwack RCMP still seeking second suspect in Charles Avenue truck fire

Jordan Cole Burt was taken into RCMP custody while wanted on an outstanding warrant
Chilliwack RCMP officers investigate the scene of a vehicle fire on Sept. 17, 2020 on Charles Street near Third Avenue. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

RCMP are still searching a second suspect involved in a truck fire incident in Chilliwack Sept. 17.

A pickup truck crashed and erupted in flames at Charles Street and Garden Drive around 8 a.m. last Thursday morning. Two men ran away from the scene. Following reports from citizens and sightings by officers, one of them was rounded up one hour later in the 46,000 block of Hundal Crescent.

Police didn’t find the second person, who is described as a Caucasian Man, approximately six-foot-four (193 centimetres) and 220 pounds (100 kilograms) wearing red shoes, a black hoodie and dark blue jeans.

The 26-year-old man who was arrested remains in custody and police are calling him an arson suspect.

The Chilliwack Progress has independently learned that Jordan Cole Burt of Chilliwack was already wanted for another matter in another jurisdiction.

In 2016, Burt was charged with the second-degree murder of fellow inmate John Michael Murphy at the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre. The two men were cellmates and did not know each other when a fight broke out on Aug. 3, 2016.

• READ MORE: Charge now laid in Surrey jail killing

In 2019, the BC Coroners Services held an inquest into Murphy’s death, which was determined to have been caused by “neck compression due to, or as a consequence of, strangulation.”

The Coroner determined the fight inside the segregation cell that day was instigated by Murphy who got Burt into a headlock. Burt, however, was able to release himself, then got behind Murphy and placed him in a chokehold that led to the 25-year-old man’s death, according to the findings.

The Coroner made a number of recommendations in the Nov. 20, 2019 verdict regarding improved surveillance using video monitoring at the pretrial centre.

A recommendation was also made to BC Corrections and the BC Ambulance Service to improve speed of access for emergency personnel in an emergency at Surrey Pretrial.

After the incident, Burt pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but online court records do not indicate how much time he was sentenced to or if he was out on parole at the time of the incident in Chilliwack on Sept. 17, 2020.

Chilliwack RCMP officers arrest a male on Pearson Street after a vehicle fire nearby on Charles Street on Sept. 17, 2020. (Facebook)

Witnesses said last week’s incident started when fireworks were thrown at kids on Sept. 17 as they were walking to school along First Avenue. The driver of the truck who was throwing the fireworks allegedly turned onto Charles Street and crashed with the vehicle erupting into flames, according to witness account on Facebook.

“Crazy driver was throwing fireworks at my and other people’s kids walking to school down first. Then he turned on to Charles and apparently his vehicle is now on fire,” commented one person, whose granddaughter was the one who called 911.

READ MORE: RCMP investigate truck fire on Charles

READ MORE: Other crashes led to possible charges

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A police incident near the Charles Street tunnel was reported Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020 after 8 a.m. with a truck on fire and two suspects being sought by RCMP. (Darcy Loewen photo/ Facebook)