A bear likely caused a barn fire in Pitt Meadows. (THE NEWS/files)

Bear may have caused fire that destroyed Pitt Meadows barn

Fire chief says likely marauding bruin knocked over heat lamp.

A bear looking for breakfast may have knocked over a heat lamp in a chicken coop and started a fire, destroying a barn in Pitt Meadows early Saturday.

Pitt Meadows fire deputy chief Brad Perrie said crews got the call to the 12800-block Woolridge Road at about 4:20 a.m.

It’s not possible to say conclusively what happened, but firefighters know the fire started in the chicken coop, where there was a heat lamp to keep the chicks warm.

They also know that, on the previous Friday, a bear broke into the old barn and killed four chickens.

The owner had just made temporary repairs from that when the fire started the next day.

“There’s no way the heat lamp, we believe, would have fallen over on its own. It kind of makes sense, plausibly that the bear came back again, got into the chicken coup and, in the process of chasing around the chickens, knocked over the heat lamp, which we’re pretty sure started the fire,” Perrie said.

“That’s what we believe. I know it sounds crazy.”

The official cause of the fire is the heat lamp falling over, he added.

Upon smashing through the wall, however, the bear also provided an escape route for his prey. Several chickens scurried outside, getting away from the bear and the fire.

“We rounded up maybe eight or nine adults and about six chicks,” Perrie added.

Some others may still be loose, while others may have died in the fire or were killed by the bear.

Three trucks and 15 firefighters responded and quickly extinguished the fire. A house nearby on the property wasn’t at risk.

“There was no sign of the bear. The bear probably got out of there, for sure,” Perrie said.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Burrards lose to Shamrocks in double overtime

WLA championship series moves to Maple Ridge Sunday

Senior men’s exhibition baseball in Maple Ridge

Elite Burnaby Bulldogs take on Royals Saturday

From the desk: Sexual assaults tough to talk about

May take a while to report an incident

Pitt Meadows junior golfer wins prestigious tournament

Incredible run in last four holes gives 10-year-old scores of 71

Fashion Fridays: How to dress and feel powerful

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Portland, Oregon, awaits right-wing rally, counter protests

Patriot Prayer’s Joey Gibson surrendered Friday on an arrest warrant for felony rioting

Police identify 45-year-old victim in South Surrey stabbing

Delphin Paul Prestbakmo died at the scene, near 18 Avenue and 152 Street

Kraft Heinz brand baby food recalled in B.C. due to possibility of insects

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the product should not be consumed

First Nations women finally to be treated equally under Indian Act: Bennett

Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action thanked the feds

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Most Read