Firefighters were called out in the middle of the night to another vacant house fire last week.
The deliberately set fire was the eighth vacant house to go up in flames so far this year in Chilliwack.
But officials say that despite the relatively high number there is no set pattern to the evidence. So that makes it unlikely it’s the work of a firebug.
The most recent arson fire saw crews from two firehalls battle the flames on Nov. 6 at 2 a.m. in the 7000-block of Lickman Road.
The structure was completely destroyed by fire, according to Chilliwack Fire Department’s Mike Bourdon, assistant fire chief.
He used the incident as a reminder that the Fire Department urges owners of vacant properties slated for future development, to secure them properly, and ensure windows are boarded up.
“These buildings should be demolished as soon as possible due to the fact that a fire within a vacant structure significantly increases the risk to fire fighter safety and surrounding exposures,” he said.
Despite the numbers, Mayor Sharon Gaetz said she was told fire and RCMP investigators are actively looking into the files, and have reassured city officials that there is “no set fire pattern” that would lead anyone to suggest a serial arsonist was at work.
“That set our minds at ease,” she said.
It’s also important for owners of vacant buildings to ensure utility companies disconnect all services, like gas, electricity and water, Bourdon said.
Mayor Gaetz said the numbers show that about half the vacant buildings still have utilities connected.
The Lickman Road fire was deliberately set and is under investigation by Chilliwack Fire Department and RCMP fire investigators.
If anyone has any information they are asked to call RCMP at 604-792-4611 or anonymously through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or www.chilliwackcrimestoppers.ca