A house on Gore Avenue that burst into flames Tuesday was known to police, but an “explosion” reported by neighbours had nothing to do with drugs, a fire official said Thursday.
“There was no production of drugs to the extent that it was related to the cause of the fire,” Assistant Fire Chief Ian Josephson said.
The cause of the fire was the use of “some sort of torch,” he said.
Such torches are sometimes used to smoke crack cocaine.
Josephson said there might have been an explosion during the course of the fire from a small propane tank located in the house.
He said knocking down the flames proved difficult due to “large amounts of combustible contents” in the house, but none of the contents were chemicals associated with a meth lab.
Firefighters would have been ordered out of the building for safety reasons, if those chemicals had been found, he said.
Chilliwack RCMP Cpl. Lea-Anne Dunlop said the house was “known to us, and we do believe there was some drug activity occurring there prior to the fire.”
One area resident reportedly said it was “time” the house burned down to stop the taxis arriving there at all hours of the night with what he assumed were drug customers.
“Now all the rats have scurried to somewhere else,” he said.
One female tenant at the house was taken to hospital where she was treated for smoke inhalation.
Smoke and fire was coming from the one-storey house when firefighters arrived after the 12:53 p.m. call.
There was “significant” fire and smoke damage to most of the house.