Chilliwack firefighters lay out a tarp for their equipment at the Maple Avenue fire Monday morning. (Submitted)

Pair of vacant house fires deemed suspicious in downtown Chilliwack

A fire broke out on Margaret Avenue Sunday while another hit Maple Avenue on Monday

Two vacant house fires erupted within 24 hours of each other in the downtown core.

Both early-morning incidents are “suspicious” and under investigation by Chilliwack Fire Department and RCMP.

The sun was just coming up on Sunday morning when firefighters from Halls 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 were called to a structure fire in the 46000-block of Margaret Avenue. Upon arrival at 6:45 a.m. firefighters faced heavy, black smoke venting from the rear of the abandoned home.

“Due to fire conditions firefighters set up a defensive fire attack and brought the fire under control,” said Andrew Brown, assistant fire chief for Chilliwack Fire.

The Margaret house suffered major fire and smoke damage.

The second fire call to a vacant house was in the 46000-block of Maple Avenue at 4:45 a.m. on Monday morning. In this incident, a fully involved structure fire started in a detached garage and spread to the single-storey home.

“The garage was completely consumed in the fire and the home suffered major fire and smoke damage to the interior and exterior of the structure.”

A number of vacant house fires have been reported in recent years, and property owners are often advised by city officials to fence them off and demolish them as soon as possible.

READ MORE: Arson strikes vacant house

The owners of vacant and boarded-up houses actually face “an increased risk” when it comes to sustaining property damage from vandalism, theft and or fire, the fire official underlined.

“A fire within a vacant home also increases the risk to firefighter safety,” he added.

There were no civilian or firefighter injuries at either incident.

Anyone with any information about these fires is asked to call the RCMP at 604-792-4611 or anonymously through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or www.upperfraservalleycrimestoppers.ca

READ MORE: Vacant house hit by fire


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Chilliwack commemorates 76th anniversary of D-Day with small but significant ceremony

Two wreaths were laid at the quiet ceremony attended by about 25 people in Sardis

PHOTOS w/ VIDEO: Peaceful Black Lives Matter march and rally in Chilliwack

Youth-led march down Yale Road followed by passionate speeches at Central Community Park

Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

‘Canada has a problem too,’ reads at least one protester’s sign

Chilliwack RCMP heard gunfire en route to suspicous activity

Chilliwack man, 42, sent to hospital after shooting, RCMP have confirmed

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

Run for Water: Abbotsford man raises $100,000 running 100-mile marathon

Kevin Barata ran up and down Ledgeview Trails 32 times, exceeding elevation of Mt. Everest

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

Most Read