Second overdose death in Maple Ridge

A 24-year-old man from the Kootenay area found unconscious at Salvation Army shelter.

A second man died last week from a suspected drug overdose in Maple Ridge.

Fire, ambulance and police responded to a call at the Salvation Army’s Caring Place Friday morning.

A 24-year-old man from the Kootenay area in eastern B.C. was found unconscious at about 7 a.m. in the shelter.

“They apparently worked on him for quite some time,” said Ridge Meadows RCMP civilian media spokesman Dan Herbanson.

The coroner is investigating the death and could conduct a toxicology report.

However, fentanyl isn’t being considered as a suspected cause.

The overdose was the second in as many days. On Thursday, a man died in the Cliff Avenue homeless camp, by the Caring Place, on Lougheed at the Haney Bypass.

The Maple Ridge Fire Department and paramedics were dispatched to the camp behind the Salvation Army’s Caring Place to respond to two men who were found in a tent, just after 11 p.m.

“One them, they were able to revive and, unfortunately, the 42-year-old man didn’t respond and was deceased,” said Herbanson.

Residents of the camp said the deceased man hadn’t been staying there. Police said he was from Surrey.

B.C. coroner Barb McLintock said toxicology reports likely will be done on both of the deceased to determine a reasonable cause of death.

She said the overall number of overdose deaths in B.C. hasn’t climbed recently, but the proportion of those caused by fentanyl has jumped.

Fentanyl is a powerful painkiller than can kill in minute amounts and which is being mixed with other street drugs. It can even be absorbed through skin contact.

The Maple Ridge area is currently going through a spike in the number of overdoses, McLintock said.

“It’s becoming far too prevalent,” Herbranson added.

In the last month or so in Metro Vancouver, at least a dozen people have died of fentanyl overdoses.