A downtown Chilliwack murder scene is now the subject of a suspicious fire investigation. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

Suspicious fire guts house where man was killed

The yellow crime-scene tape was blocking Wellington Avenue early Monday morning

A downtown Chilliwack murder scene is now the scene of a suspicious fire investigation.

Early Monday morning flames gutted a home in the 45000-block of Wellington – site of an earlier multi-day investigation by the Integrated Homicide Investigative Team.

RCMP say the report of the structure fire came in at 2:41 a.m.

“We’re investigating it as suspicious and more will be known later, after they complete a thorough investigation of the scene,” said RCMP Cpl. Mike Rail.

At Cook and Wellington the yellow tape went up, to block the flow traffic going west on Wellington with a “Road Closed” sign in place.

“RCMP officers have set up a perimeter and will secure the scene until the investigation is complete,” said Rail.

Police had been called the house on June 7 following reports a man was in medical distress.

The victim, later identified by IHIT as 25-year-old Zacharia Nicholli Cross, died at the scene.

Investigators have said little about the incident, only that Cross was “known to police and associated to drug activity.”

Fire crews from Chilliwack Fire Department were called to the scene some time before 3 a.m.

According to neighbours, it was the second time fire broke out in the building.

Police were also on scene Friday afternoon at an apparent shooting just blocks away from the murder scene.

Several shots were fired on Reece and Cook Street at around 1 p.m.

An officer photographed evidence marked by at least a dozen small yellow tags in the middle of the road.

One neighbour told The Progress she heard three distinct gun shots before police arrived.

Watch theprogress.com for more information as it becomes available.

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Early Monday morning flames gutted a home in the 45000-block of Wellington, and RCMP and Fire officials were on-scene investigating. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

A downtown Chilliwack murder scene is now the scene of a suspicious fire investigation. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

A downtown Chilliwack murder scene is now the scene of a suspicious fire investigation. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

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