British Columbia

2 dead after fire at medical marijuana grow op in Surrey home

Investigators said the accidental fire is believed to have been sparked by electrical equipment used in a marijuana operation.

Cause of accidental fire linked to electrical equipment for operation: investigators

Smoke was seen billowing from the home at around 7 a.m. PT on Monday. (Submitted)

Two people are dead in an early morning house fire in the 9400 block of 163 Street in Surrey.

The Surrey Fire Service says the cause of the fire has been tentatively linked to electrical equipment for a licensed medical marijuana grow operation.

In a news release, fire officials say two people were found in the basement of the home, suffering from smoke inhalation. Despite attempts to save them, one died at the scene and the other died in hospital.

Assistant Fire Chief Jason Cairney say the building had several other occupants.

One managed to escape the blaze on his own, Cairney said, while a second was rescued from a second floor balcony. Both were treated in hospital for minor injuries.

He said the fire is not considered suspicious.

'Sad day'

Neighbour Dan Kielan said he was woken up by the sirens, came out to look and saw smoke billowing out of the home's second storey.

Kielan says he's upset to now learn there was a licensed grow op in the home.

Emergency personnel and vehicles descended on the home early Monday morning. (Submitted)

"In a place where this is my home and my kids play, it's concerning for their safety and their future and I'm not OK with this," he said.

"There's places to have legal grow-ops and that can be in commercial places. But in homes? In neighbourhoods? Doesn't matter if it's legal or not. That just shouldn't be allowed."

Another neighbour, Tim Walker, called Monday "a sad day for the neighbourhood."

Walker said he saw two men carried out on stretchers before paramedics immediately began performing chest compressions. 

He also described seeing two women covered in soot, including one who he said was plucked from a balcony.

"It's really sad," he said. "Quite a disaster."

With files from Jesse Johnston