Owners of vacant homes are once again being warned to secure buildings from squatters and trespassers after yet another arson in the downtown Chilliwack area.
Firefighters from Chilliwack halls 1 and 4 responded to the structure fire in a house in the 9500-block of Williams Street after 3 a.m. on April 30.
When firefighters arrived, they found a vacant, two-storey, residential house with flame and smoke showing on the exterior rear section of the house. Firefighters confined and quickly extinguished the blaze, but the house sustained fire damage at the back as well as fire and smoke damage to the interior of the home.
The house in question has a small apartment building directly to the south, and sits next to the parking lot for the Central Pentecostal Assembly to the north.
This fire was deliberately set and is under investigation by Chilliwack Fire Department and RCMP fire investigators.
There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.
“The Chilliwack Fire Department would like to remind owners of vacant homes that they face an increased risk when it comes to property damage which includes vandalism, theft and or fire damage,” the department said in a press release. “A fire within a vacant home also increases the risk to firefighter safety.”
There have been numerous vacant house fires in recent months in the city. In January a house on 4th Avenue and a vacant house in Rosedale went up in flames. In September, a house previously the subject of a fire that was vacant was totally destroyed in a second fire.
Most recently in mid-April, a row of dilapidated houses on Henderson Avenue were finally demolished. That came after city council issued a 30-day notice in January to fence off the structures and demolish them.
If anyone has any information about this fire, they are asked to call the RCMP at 604-792-4611 or anonymously through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or www.upperfraservalleycrimestoppers.ca