This boarded-up vacant house on Hope River Road was heavily damaged by fire in the early hours of July 20, 2021. (Karolina Sikova photo)

This boarded-up vacant house on Hope River Road was heavily damaged by fire in the early hours of July 20, 2021. (Karolina Sikova photo)

Early morning vacant house fire ‘deliberately set’ say Chilliwack fire officials

Owners of vacant homes reminded of risks like vandalism, theft and fire damage

Sirens could be heard just after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday (July 20) as Chilliwack Fire Department crews raced to Hope River Road and Menzies Street to fight a vacant house fire.

“This fire was deliberately set and is under investigation by Chilliwack Fire Department,” said assistant fire chief Mike Bourdon.

Thirty firefighters from Chilliwack fire halls 1, 2, 4 and 6 worked to control the blaze, after arriving pre-dawn to find the boarded up two-storey house with heavy fire showing at the rear of the structure.

“Firefighters went defensive and worked quickly to extinguish the fire and protect any exposures,” Bourdon said.

“The home suffered extensive fire damage.”

There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.

“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.”

Homeowners are also reminded to notify insurance providers if the home is vacant.

The problem is empty homes increase the risk to firefighter safety, Bourdon said. Residential structures should be boarded up, secured and all services disconnected on site. Owners should visit regularly to confirm “all structures on site remain secured.”

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

City of Chilliwack

 

This boarded-up vacant house on Hope River Road was heavily damaged by fire in the early hours of July 20, 2021. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Chilliwack Progress)

This boarded-up vacant house on Hope River Road was heavily damaged by fire in the early hours of July 20, 2021. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Chilliwack Progress)