Victoria police, fire and the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team responded to an incident in the 700-block of Pandora Avenue on Christmas evening. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Woman dies after barricading herself in burning suite in Victoria

Police-involved incident on Christmas Day under investigation

A woman related to a police-involved incident in downtown Victoria on Christmas Day has died, according to the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO).

On Christmas night around 6 p.m., the Victoria Police Department was called to the 700-block of Pandora Avenue for report of an armed person causing a disturbance.

Officers found a woman had barricaded herself inside a suite in multi-unit residential building and soon, smoke could be seen coming from the unit.

RELATED: One suspect sent to hospital after barricade, fire in downtown Victoria on Christmas

The Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) and Victoria Fire Department were called in. The fire was extinguished and GVERT officers were able to make an emergency entry into the unit and take the woman into custody. She was taken to hospital in life-threatening condition.

On Dec. 29 the IIO was notified the woman had died in hospital. In a media release the investigations agency said it is in contact with the woman’s family and an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The IIO is an independent civilian oversight agency responsible for overseeing all police-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, with or without allegations of wrongdoing.

With files from Shalu Mehta.

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