Fraser River Pile & Dredge (FRPD) was called to assist the New Westminster Fire & Rescue Services to help put out the blaze that destroyed a large portion of Westminster Pier Park.


The fire broke out on September 13 at the pier, closing the park and surrounding area. The century-old wooden pier was built on creosote-soaked pilings, which will take several more days to fully extinguish.


FRPD supported the response team by providing barge and crane operations that removed parts of the pier to clear debris and provide fire service access to areas of the site that were otherwise difficult to reach. The operations also facilitated fire fighting from the water side of the pier.


A particularly challenging and heartbreaking operation was removing the WOW Westminster sculpture. All efforts were made to save the public art installation, but unfortunately the structure that supported the sculpture and its connections to the pier were significantly compromised, making it unsafe to dismantle and preserve. The pier that the sculpture stood on was unsafe to access by foot, so FRPD was called in to remove the sculpture by a barge and crane on the water.


FRPD is deeply saddened by the damage to the pier and its impact on the residents of New Westminster. Opened in 2012, Westminster Pier Park was designed as a space for families living in the downtown core to access nature and park land in the city. The WOW Westminster art installation on the park’s waterfront was a city landmark. Made of four shipping containers arranged in the shape of a W, the structure reflected the history of shipping, trade and transportation along the Fraser River.


FRPD applauds the fire service for working around the clock to put out the hot spots on the pier. The fire service was able to get the fire under control much sooner than originally expected, with the fire anticipated to be completely put out by the end of the week. Fortunately, a large portion of the park was spared from damage, with several pathways, a festival lawn area, concession and playgrounds to eventually re-open.


For updates on the park’s status visit: