Firefighters responded to a fully involved vacant house fire on Robson Street on Saturday, July 18, 2020. See more photos at the end of the story. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Firefighters responded to a fully involved vacant house fire on Robson Street on Saturday, July 18, 2020. See more photos at the end of the story. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

UPDATE w/ PHOTOS: ‘Deliberately set’ fire destroys vacant house downtown Chilliwack Saturday

Robson Street home destroyed by latest in a long line of blazes in unused buildings

A deliberately set fire destroyed a vacant house on Robson Street Saturday afternoon.

Chilliwack Fire Department crews from five halls responded to the structure fire in the 9400-block of Robson at approximately 4:30 p.m.

On arrival, firefighters found “extensive fire” at the rear of the structure, and they worked to extinguish the blaze.

Large crowds gathered in the downtown neighbourhood to watch. The house is located between Wellington and Victoria avenues. One neighbour said squatters have been living in the vacant house for a while.

The house sustained major damage and, due to the instability of the structure, an excavator was later brought in to demolish the house.

There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.

The fire is under investigation by Chilliwack Fire Department and RCMP fire investigators, but it is determined to have been deliberately set.

Fires in vacant structures have been a serious problem in Chilliwack in recent months. Earlier in July an overnight fire destroyed a garage at a vacant house that also saw a fire in June.

• READ MORE: Overnight fire destroyed garage at vacant house near downtown Chilliwack

• READ MORE: UPDATE w/ VIDEO: Firefighters battle house fire on Second Avenue in Chilliwack Saturday afternoon

“Chilliwack Fire Department would like to remind owners of vacant homes, that they face an increase risk when it comes to property damage which includes vandalism, theft and or fire damage,” according to assistant fire chief Mike Bourdon in a press release. “A fire within a vacant home also increases the risk to firefighter safety.”

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


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

House fire

 

Firefighters responded to a fully involved vacant house fire on Robson Street on Saturday, July 18, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Firefighters responded to a fully involved vacant house fire on Robson Street on Saturday, July 18, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

A man tries to protect his home from a neighbouring fire as firefighters tackle a blaze in a vacant house on Robson Street on Saturday, July 18, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

A man tries to protect his home from a neighbouring fire as firefighters tackle a blaze in a vacant house on Robson Street on Saturday, July 18, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Firefighters responded to a fully involved vacant house fire on Robson Street on Saturday, July 18, 2020. (Chelsea Brubaker)

Firefighters responded to a fully involved vacant house fire on Robson Street on Saturday, July 18, 2020. (Chelsea Brubaker)