Flames show on the second floor balcony of an apartment on McIntosh Drive early Wednesday morning as fire crews move in.

Chilliwack RCMP ‘risked their own lives’ evacuating burning apartment

An early morning fire that forced the evacuation of a three-storey apartment building in Chilliwack Wednesday is being treated as "suspicious" by police and fire officials.

An early morning fire that forced the evacuation of a three-storey apartment building in Chilliwack Wednesday is being treated as “suspicious” by police and fire officials.

The fire started on a second-floor balcony of the McIntosh Manor at about 4:37 a.m. and the flames spread up to the third-floor balcony, but firefighters quickly knocked down the blaze before any major damage was done, said Assistant Fire Chief Ian Josephson.

However, smoke got inside the building and set off the fire alarm which caused tenants to start evacuation, he said.

Two RCMP officers arriving at the scene heard an explosion, and started helping tenants evacuate the building.

Sgt. Glen Carrier and Const. Pierre Boivin carried one 67-year-old woman, who had recently been released from hospital for hip surgery, down three flights of stairs.

“These two members went above and beyond the call of duty,” Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth said. “They risked their own lives by running into a burning building to save the residents of this building to ensure everyone got out safely.”

Carrier and Boivin were treated on scene for smoke inhalation, and taken to Chilliwack General Hospital for observation. Three other RCMP officers, who had knocked on doors and helped others to evacuate, were also treated on scene for smoke inhalation.

Three tenants were also taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation, and all were later released.

Chilliwack firefighters were also praised for their “timely and effective response” to the blaze.

“Having suffered through two acts of arson in this city in as many years, (it) really puts me on edge any time I hear an alarm bell ringing,” said Bergeil DeBungie, a resident at McIntosh Manor.

“I at least have the comfort of knowing that these fine men will be there to do their jobs quickly and efficiently.”

Only two of the tenants in the 72-unit apartment on McIntosh Drive were not able to return home.

Police are reportedly seeking a search warrant to enter the suite where the fire started, which is now being treated as a possible crime scene.

“It does look suspicious,”Josephson said about the fire. “We’re working on that angle.”

He said a propane tank on the balcony did explode, but “that could be just due to the fire” rather than its cause.

Hollingsworth said an investigation by the detachment’s serious crime unit is underway.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Chilliwack RCMP at 604-792-4611 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Pikeminnow derby brings families together at Cultus Lake

The annual Lions Pikeminnow Derby takes place on Father’s Day weekend in Chilliwack

UPDATE: Incident along train tracks shuts down Eagle Landing Parkway for several hours

The Chilliwack Progress has reached out to RCMP for further details

VIDEO: Fire destroys Chilliwack home on Bearstone Place

RCMP comfirm everyone got out of the house safely during Saturday morning fire

PHOTOS: Sasquatch Days about ‘being proud of being Sts’ailes’

The joint event between Harrison and Sts’ailes returned to the village for its eighth year

UPDATE: Highway 1 reopened after crash near Prest Road

The early morning incident involved a semi and a flagging truck

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read