Workers were cleaning up burned pallets Aug. 10 at Berryhill Foods on Brannick Place in Chilliwack after an overnight fire that appears to have been an arson. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Suspected arson behind new berry processing plant in Chilliwack

Firefighters knocked down 300 fully involved pallets protecting nearby propane tanks

An alleged arson in the early hours Thursday behind a brand new berry processing plant in Chilliwack could have been a lot worse.

Before noon, workers were cleaning up the site removing some of the approximately 300 wood pallets that burned behind Berryhill Foods on Brannick Place near Vantage Foods and the site of the new Molson plant.

The blaze that started before 4 a.m. on Aug. 10 was knocked down by the Chilliwack Fire Department, and happened just a few feet away from an enclosed bank of propane tanks.

Chilliwack Fire Department crews from Halls 1 and 4 were dispatched and report that upon arrival, they discovered approximately 300 wood pallets fully involved inside the fenced site, and in close proximity to the industrial building.

Firefighters initiated an aggressive attack, knocked down the fire and protected the nearby exposures, they report.

The building suffered heat damage to the exterior due to the intensity of the fire. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries reported.

The fire appears to have been deliberately set and is under investigation by Chilliwack Fire Department and RCMP fire investigators.

An employee cleaning up the pallets Thursday told The Progress said he heard there was a nearby robbery at a Hocking Avenue business shortly after. This has not been confirmed.

Anyone with information about this fire are asked to call the RCMP at 604-792-4611 or anonymously through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or www.chilliwackcrimestoppers.ca.