Police still on scene at an historic garage at a Port Kells gas station Wednesday after a body was found inside following a fire on Oct. 21. Surrey RCMP say the body has not yet been removed due to concerns surrounding the structural integrity of the building. (Photo: Amy Reid)

Port Kells

UPDATE: Body recovered from Surrey building three days after fire

Delay due to concerns surrounding ‘structural integrity of the building’

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say the body was recovered on Thursday (Oct. 24). The deceased is now with the coroner. Surrey RCMP said the investigation is in the “early stages,” given the delay.

Surrey RCMP say a body found Monday after a fire at a Port Kells building has yet to be recovered due to the “structural integrity of the building.”

Fire crews first responded to the scene around 5:30 a.m., at a gas station in the 8700-block of Harvie Road on Oct. 21. There is fire damage at the historic Bulman’s Garage, which has been a registered heritage site since Nov. 2, 1998.

On Wednesday afternoon, Surrey RCMP Constable Richard Wright told the Now-Leader that the body had not yet been removed from the building.

“Literally nobody can go in to investigate or recover the remains or anything,” he told the Now-Leader.

“City engineers have come in and judged the structural integrity of the building. City engineers have said it’s not safe for anybody to be working in that area, and we need to ensure structural integrity before anybody can go in.”

SEE MORE: Body found after fire at Surrey gas station

The RCMP are continuing to secure the area and control the scene until the go-ahead is given to enter the structure.

“At this point, it’s not us that would be making that call, it’s down to the professional services that they bring in to take down that building piece by piece,” said Wright.

Meantime, Wright said they have a “good idea” who the deceased individual is.

“We have contacted family,” he noted.

“We can’t say 100 per cent for certain if that’s who is there yet.”

Several partners have been called in to assist, said Wright, including Surrey Fire Service, BC Coroners Service, Work Safe BC, Technical Safety BC, and structural engineers “to safely conduct their respective investigations.”

“Due to the structural integrity issue, those joint investigations have been delayed until the site is declared safe,” he added.

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