Surrey house fire case now a homicide investigation; one man charged

ON Thursday (September 7), at 12:41 a.m., the Surrey RCMP received a call from the Surrey Fire Department of a house fire in the 12300-block of 112A Avenue.  First responders found a male inside the house. He was pronounced dead at the scene.  The death was deemed suspicious in nature and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) took conduct of the investigation. The name of the victim is not being released at this time as the next of kin has not yet been notified.

A suspect, identified as 32 year-old Robert Jones of Surrey, was taken into custody shortly after the offence occurred.  Evidence recovered in the initial stages of the investigation has resulted in Crown Counsel issuing charge approval.

Jones has been charged with manslaughter, and is scheduled to appear in Surrey Provincial Court on September 11.

“While this is a positive step in the investigation, there remains much work to be done.” said IHIT Cpl. Frank Jang.  “Based on the evidence in the early stages of the investigation, investigators believed this incident was not random.”

IHIT is working closely with the Surrey RCMP, the Surrey Fire Department, the Integrated Forensic Identification Section and the B.C. Coroner’s Service to gather evidence.