The remnants of a house destroyed by fire on Brooks Avenue in the early hours of Sept. 27. The house was gutted by fire previously on May 8, it was up for rezoning, and WorkSafeBC had issued a stop-work order for improper asbestos handling. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

The remnants of a house destroyed by fire on Brooks Avenue in the early hours of Sept. 27. The house was gutted by fire previously on May 8, it was up for rezoning, and WorkSafeBC had issued a stop-work order for improper asbestos handling. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Chilliwack house gutted by fire in May, totally destroyed in a blaze Thursday

Fire at Brooks Avenue house early hours of Sept. 27 deemed suspicious

A Chilliwack house gutted by fire four months ago was completely destroyed by another fire last Thursday.

The house at the corner of Brooks Avenue and Cramer Avenue was vacant, with blue fencing surrounding it and a City of Chilliwack rezoning notice in front.

A stop work order was posted on the fence by WorkSafeBC eight days before the fire for improper handling of building material that may contain asbestos.

It was at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 27 that the Chilliwack Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a residential structure fire at the location. Firefighters responded from Halls 1, 4, and 6, and on arrival, reported seeing heavy smoke and flames venting from the structure.

Due to the intense fire and structural damage firefighters set up a defensive fire attack.

The remainder of the structure was destroyed by the fire, and three adjacent homes suffered heat damage to siding.

Back on May 8, two residents of the home escaped from a fire by jumping out a window.

• READ MORE: Residents escape Chilliwack house fire by jumping from window

That fire also started at approximately 3:30 a.m. when an occupant asleep in the house discovered fire and alerted others. Two occupants made it out the front door, but two others were forced back inside and exited through a first floor window.

Chilliwack Fire Department investigators on the scene May 8 of an overnight blaze that gutted a home on Brooks Avenue. That house was destroyed by another fire on Sept. 27. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress file)

The May 8 fire was not immediately deemed suspicious, but the Chilliwack Fire Department did remind the public to have working smoke alarms and two routes out of the house.

The fire on Sept. 27 is considered suspicious and is under investigation by the Chilliwack Fire Department and RCMP.

A rezoning sign out front states the owner applied to city hall to rezone the property from single family to allow for a future subdivision.

Also out front is a notice from WorkSafeBC to stop work. Demolition of the house was underway without a hazardous materials survey done, according to the notice, and a site inspection showed evidence of materials known to possibly contain asbestos.

The order, dated Sept. 19, was issued to a Resham Toor and a numbered company, both out of Surrey. Toor’s name is also on the rezoning sign.

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


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

The remnants of a house destroyed by fire on Brooks Avenue in the early hours of Sept. 27. The house was gutted by fire previously on May 8, it was up for rezoning, and WorkSafeBC had issued a stop-work order for improper asbestos handling. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

The remnants of a house destroyed by fire on Brooks Avenue in the early hours of Sept. 27. The house was gutted by fire previously on May 8, it was up for rezoning, and WorkSafeBC had issued a stop-work order for improper asbestos handling. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Chilliwack Fire Department investigators on the scene May 8 of an overnight blaze that gutted a home on Brooks Avenue. That house was destroyed by another fire on Sept. 27. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress file)

Chilliwack Fire Department investigators on the scene May 8 of an overnight blaze that gutted a home on Brooks Avenue. That house was destroyed by another fire on Sept. 27. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress file)