The aftermath of a fire that destroyed the historic Bulman’s Garage in Surrey’s Port Kells area on Oct. 21. (Photo submitted)

Replica of historic Bulman’s Garage to be built after ‘suspicious’ fire in Surrey

A body was found inside the Port Kells building after being destroyed by a blaze on Oct. 21

A replica of the historic Bulman’s Garage is to be built following a blaze that destroyed the building last month.

“There’s no timeline yet,” explained Surrey Councillor Linda Annis, who chair’s the city’s Heritage Advisory Commission. “We’re waiting for the investigation to be finalized and ultimately the end goal will be for a replica to be built.”

This replica is to be built by the owner, as per the Heritage Revitalization Agreement in place with the city.

The Port Kells building was destroyed in an Oct. 21 fire and a body was discovered inside.

It took three days for the body to be recovered due to the “structural integrity of the building,” police said at the time.

After the fire, the building had to be taken down carefully to ensure safety on-site and the body was ultimately recovered.

The investigation into the fire is ongoing and has been deemed suspicious.

READ ALSO: Body recovered from Surrey building three days after fire

Today, remnants of the burned building lay in shambles at 8745 Harvie Rd.

“It’s just very tragic that this happened,” said Annis of the building’s destruction and the fatality.

“But the building has such a neat history because Mr. Bulman was actually a volunteer firefighter, and was one of the early volunteer firefighters of the building that was restored nearby recently. So it’s a very nice tie-in.”

Annis said it’s expected the owner will come forward with plans to rebuilt the historic garage, and it will then go through the city’s planners.

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(Bulman’s Garage before being destroyed in an Oct. 21 fire. Submitted photo)

Bulman’s Garage has been a registered heritage site since Nov. 2, 1998.

According to city documents, the garage was built in 1948 and served the Port Kells area for roughly 50 years.

“Previously he had leased a smaller garage across the street (the Firtree Garage) but had to give up the lease when the son of the owner of the garage returned from war and wanted to operate it (the father was Frank Futer, the son was George Futer),” city documents indicate.

“Everett had a group of loyal customers he wished to continue to serve. Everett had a stroke in 1986 and closed the garage.”

In more recent years, the garage was restored to allow for the operation of a gas station, being relocated slightly along Harvie Road to be re-used as a convenience store.

A building permit was issued for the work in October, 2016.

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(The Bulman’s Garage before it was restored in recent years. Photo: surrey.ca)



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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