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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Explosion in Ottawa

Case Number: 08-OCI-160

TORONTO (8 December, 2008) --- The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that two officers of the Ottawa Police Service committed any criminal offence in connection with an explosion that left a woman seriously burned.

"There is no connection between the injuries suffered by this woman and the actions of the subject officers," concluded SIU Director Ian Scott. "In fact, her injuries would have likely been much more severe without their intervention."

On August 11, 2008 just before 10:30 p.m., Ottawa Police responded to a call on Sunset Blvd. about a woman threatening to set the garage on fire with herself in it. The responding officers were standing outside the two-story home awaiting backup when the attached garage exploded. The officers entered the burning garage, removed the 43-year-old woman and rendered first aid. She suffered second and third-degree burns to nearly 70 per cent of her body and remains in hospital receiving treatment for her injuries. .

During the course of its investigation, the SIU interviewed two subject officers, three witness officers and seven civilian witnesses, including family members and neighbours, as well as three Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel. SIU investigators also reviewed police communications tapes.

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence  in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid
  • report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General. 

SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342