Cemetery fire victim identified, but name not released

by | Jan 10, 2024

Police determine no foul play and said victim was not ‘homeless’

The Woodstock Police Force announced on Jan. 10 that investigators identified the victim of the Monday, Jan. 8 fatal shed fire at a Woodstock cemetery.

“In the interest of providing timely updates and transparency, the Woodstock Police Force is releasing the following information to keep the public informed about the ongoing investigation into the sudden death, which was the result of a shed fire at the Methodist Cemetery property in Woodstock,” Deputy Chief Mark Bennett said in a press release early Wednesday afternoon.

Bennett said the police will not immediately release the name.

“The victim has been identified; however, at this time, we are refraining from releasing the victim’s identity pending notifications to the next of kin,” Bennett explained. “This is a crucial step in ensuring that the family is informed of this tragic incident before details are made public.

Bennett said investigators don’t suspect foul play in the victim’s death at this time, adding the incident does not pose a threat to the public.

“The Woodstock Street Crime and Integrated Enforcement Units have worked to assess the circumstances, and we can confirm that there is no indication of criminality involved,” he said in the release.

With rumours running rampant throughout the community that the death involved a homeless person, Bennett’s release said that was not the case.

“Our investigators have also been able to determine that the victim was not homeless,” he said. “This information is essential in shaping our understanding of the situation moving forward.”

He expressed condolences on behalf of the Woodstock Police Force to the family and friends of the deceased during this difficult time.

Woodstock police responded to the fire scene on Cemetery Street, near Broadway, at 6:27 a.m. Monday, Jan. 8

The Woodstock Fire Department responded to the early morning fire call and successfully extinguished the blaze.

“During the inspection of the structure after the fire,” Woodstock police explained in its Monday news release, the body of one person was discovered, leading the Woodstock Police Force to initiate an investigation into a sudden death.”

The Woodstock Police Force is collaborating with the NB Coroner Service, NB Fire Marshal’s Office, Woodstock Fire Department, RCMP K-9, and the Fredericton Police Force Forensic Identification Section to determine the source and cause of the fire.

The Woodstock Police Force encourages anyone in the area at the time of the fire or may have information to contact them at (506)325-4601.

Police added that the public can also provide information anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), by downloading the secure P3 Mobile App, or through Secure Web Tips at www.crimenb.ca.

FOREST FIRE INDEX – click image for current status

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