A break-in by copper thieves at a vacant home in South Surrey is being blamed for a gas leak that resulted in evacuating the 2500-block of 168 Street.

A break-in by copper thieves at a vacant home in South Surrey is being blamed for a gas leak that resulted in evacuating the 2500-block of 168 Street.

‘One little ignition and it could have been a bomb’

Copper thieves are being blamed for a gas leak at a vacant house in the 2500-block of 168 Street in South Surrey.

Copper thieves who targeted an empty South Surrey house overnight Thursday were lucky they didn’t blow themselves sky-high, after cutting through a gas line.

Natural gas was left free-flowing in the house, undetected for several hours until the next afternoon, resulting in residents of about eight homes in the 2500-block of 168 Street being evacuated.

“It was lucky, especially the thieves were lucky,” Surrey fire Capt. Gerry Scott said at the scene.

“With the proper mixture, the whole house would’ve gone.”

Fire crews were alerted to the problem around 2 p.m., after an area resident reported the pervasive odour and a Fortis BC employee determined the risk was high.

“The employee got close to the house and decided it was too dangerous,” Scott said.

Neighbours were evacuated while efforts to contain and avert the danger were undertaken: the home’s gas supply was cut and BC Hydro cut electricity to the area. Fire crews then vented the home, successfully bringing the gas reading “below explosive levels.”

Traffic along 168 Street north of 24 Avenue was also temporarily redirected.

Scott said damage to the home indicates the thief or thieves gained access by kicking in a fence and the front door.

One man who came to check on the situation for a friend said if there had been any little spark, the outcome would’ve have been disastrous.

“All it needed was one little ignition and it could have been a bomb,” he said.

The situation was under control within an hour, and by 3:40 p.m., 168 Street had been reopened to traffic and residents were allowed to return.



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

Just Posted

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, updates British Columbians about COVID-19 at a press conference earlier this week. (B.C. Government image)
B.C.’s 1st case of COVID-19 confirmed a year ago today

Here’s a look at some of the key dates in the province’s fight against the novel coronavirus

Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council approves $420,570 in grants for local arts, culture groups

This happened at Monday night’s council meeting, to cover 2021

In September 2018, former Vancouver Canucks player Dave Babych tees off at Northview Golf & Country Club in Surrey during the 35th annual Jake Milford Charity Invitational tournament. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
No ‘shotguns’ or banquets: Surrey golf courses pitch COVID-safe tournaments for 2021

With spring on the way, course operators book tournaments that will involve ‘tweaks and adjustments’

Investigators placed dozens of yellow evidence markers on the ground near the site of a fatal shooting in Langley City early Wednesday morning. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
UPDATE: 22-year-old man killed in targeted shooting in Langley

South Surrey vehicle fire may be linked to homicide: police

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Grad student Marisa Harrington and her supervisor Lynneth Stuart-Hill say preliminary results from a study into the affects of stress on hospital nurses show an impact on sleep and heart variability. (Courtesy of Marisa Harrington)
University of Victoria study shows stress impact on B.C. nurses

Stress may be impacting sleep, heart health of hospital nurses in Victoria region

Sooke’s Amy McLaughlin holds Theodore, a bunny who will be going to a new owner in Nanaimo within the coming days if all goes will at an upcoming bunny play-date. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Vancouver Island woman looking to hop into bigger space for bunny rescue operation

Amy McLaughlin has rescued more than 400 bunnies, pushing for the capacity to help more

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Place Stadium in a photo posted to cisc-icca.ca.
Roof of BC Place a stage for performers during online music festival

‘This will be the first time any artists have performed from the 204-foot iconic Vancouver rooftop’

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Driver crashes vehicle twice in one day near Princeton

Abbotsford woman, 29, wasn’t injured in either incident

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Most Read