UPDATE: Fires follow eviction

Surrey fire crews battled two blazes at home just after tenant was removed




Two separate fires broke out at  the same vacant house over the holidays.

Surrey Fire Service Deputy Chief Larry Thomas told The Leader on Wednesday the fires followed an eviction at a property on the corner of 88 Avenue and 134 Street.

The first blaze occurred on Dec. 23.

It’s believed the person who was evicted may have re-entered the home and started a fire in the fireplace to keep warm.

However, the chimney was faulty and a blaze broke out in the attic of the home.

“The fireplace was not properly vented in the attic,” Thomas said. “It was venting all the hot gases into the attic and that’s where the fire started.”

After that incident, Surrey Fire Service contacted the owner, who was out of town, and gained permission to board up the house.

However, someone breached the barriers on Christmas Day and another fire started at 11 p.m.

“The fire was in the attic again,” Thomas said.

The City of Surrey’s fire department has a program of securing homes as soon as it’s discovered they are abandoned.

“We board them up and we will, at some point, require fencing around them,” Thomas said. “But if someone really wants to get in, they’re going to get in.”

The city has a system in place to recover the costs of attending a fire if the owner of the home has failed to keep squatters out.

“Once we’ve attended a place and written orders to comply, we say it’s the owners responsibility to maintain the property in a secure state,” Thomas said.

If the property is occupied by squatters after that, and a blaze takes place, the owner is on the hook for the costs, said Thomas.

“Which is a disincentive for the owner, obviously, because it’s fairly costly for our response,” Thomas said.

Whether or not the owners of the Newton home that caught fire twice will have to pay for the second fire has not yet been determined, Thomas said.

 

Photos and video by Shane MacKichan

 

Just Posted

Dominion Day celebrations set for South Surrey’s historic Stewart Farm

Old-fashioned fun and games run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 29

It’s the start of a busy summer on the Peninsula

Activities and entertainment abound in July and August

Legacy of South Surrey rugby player comes ‘full-circle’

Joah Atkinson died in a Calgary crosswalk 16 years ago, but her memory remains strong

South Surrey inline-hockey player set for World Roller Games

Josselyn Drayson heads to Barcelona, Spain with Canada Inline team

Rocky Mountain high: Surrey’s Burzan picked in NHL draft by Colorado Avalanche

Guildford-raised forward currently in WHL with Brandon Wheat Kings

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read

l -->