British Columbia

Early morning fire rips through Burnaby Scouts building

Burnaby Scouts are waiting to assess their losses after an early morning fire tore through a heritage building used to store the organization's outdoor equipment.

The Carriage House on Deer Lake Ave. is used to store almost all the Scout troop's outdoor equipment

The building, which is adjacent to the art gallery, is believed to be a type of storage unit. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Burnaby Scouts are waiting to assess their losses after an early morning fire tore through the Carriage House, a heritage building used to store the organization's outdoor equipment.

Flames were seen shooting through the roof of the Deer Lake Avenue building at around 5 a.m. Friday morning and crews spent more than two hours getting the fire under control.

Gordon Tilley, Burnaby Scouts quartermaster, said he hopes the most expensive items — like large shelters and canoes — survived.

"If [the equipment] gets wet it's not a problem, we just dry it out," he said. "So it's just a matter of whether or not it has sustained any other damage, like fire damage."

Tilley estimated the value of the Scouts' equipment to be around $500,000.

Acting assistant fire chief Barry Mawhinney said the building is also used by the Burnaby parks department to store things like lawn mowers, gasoline and fertilizer.

"Police had heard explosions before we got here," said Mawhinney. " We set up an aerial ladder and cut some holes in the roof for ventilation and made good progress in saving the building."

The fire was originally called in by a Burnaby RCMP police officer.

According to the Heritage Burnaby website, the Carriage House is an Arts and Crafts style two-storey wood framed structure built around 1911 as a garage and stable. It was originally part of the H.T. Ceperly Fairacres estate.

Tilley told CBC News the Carriage House was extensively upgraded about six years ago and had no issues with fires or squatters in the past.

He said the Scouts primarily use the facility in the evenings to check out and return equipment.

With files from GP Mendoza