British Columbia

Maple Ridge fire blamed on arsonist

The Maple Ridge Fire Department and Ridge Meadows RCMP are investigating after someone allegedly doused a building with gas and set it on fire early Friday morning.

An office was damaged after someone allegedly doused it with gas and set it alight

Smoke billows out the attic of a bungalow being used as an office on Brown Avenue, early Friday morning. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

The Maple Ridge Fire Department and Ridge Meadows RCMP are investigating after someone allegedly doused a building with gas and set it on fire early Friday morning.

The incident happened a little after 1 a.m. at a small house being used as an office on Brown Avenue in Maple Ridge, B.C.

Assistant Fire Chief Mark Smitton said a worker in the area heard the sound of an explosion, and saw flames going up the rear of the bungalow.

"He probably heard something like gasoline when it catches fire, you get that 'wooomp' sound," said Smitton.

A Maple Ridge fire captain speaks with a Ridge Meadows RCMP officer while crews work to douse a suspicious fire on Brown Avenue, early Friday morning. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

"This is definitely arson. We've got evidence of a gas can that was on fire in the backyard and a pour pattern on the rear of the building," he said. "We had flames in the back and also the rear portion of the roof. The inside portion is partially gutted with fire."

Smitton said crews got to the fire quickly, knocked down the flames, and cut their way into the attic where the fire had spread. 

The property is owned by a real estate developer, according to Smitton.

"Three or four apartments are going in over the next four years, and I think this was going to be used as a construction office, or something to do with that in the meantime."

Firefighters tear at the ceiling to access burning spots in the attic of a bungalow in Maple Ridge, early Friday morning. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

 

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