Exposed beams inside a wall in the New Mark apartments after what neighbours describe as an explosion Sunday night. (Diane Dondaneau photo)

Explosion caused by cooking drugs at downtown Chilliwack apartment

No one injured but at least two units damaged in Sunday evening fire

Cooking illegal drugs led to an explosion in a unit at a downtown Chilliwack apartment building Sunday evening.

The two occupants of the suite escaped without injury, but at least two units in the New Mark are damaged after the incident just after 7 p.m.

“We are just fortunate that nobody was injured,” RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail said Monday.

• RELATED: Chilliwack fire linked to hash oil production

The Chilliwack Fire Department (CFD) and Mounties were called to the scene after the report of an explosion in the Yale building of the New Mark condo complex.

Fire Chief Ian Josephson said that upon arrival they found a sprinkler head had activated extinguishing the fire.

“[The] majority of the damage in the unit was related to the vapour explosion with minor fire, smoke and water damage contained to the kitchen,” according to a CFD press release.

And while some residents on social media reported a drug lab exploded, or the incident was caused by a methamphetamine operation, Rail said it was a minor incident and not a meth lab.

Rail said an investigation is underway but no one was arrested Sunday evening.

The CFD said the fire was caused by the cooking of illegal drugs on the stove using a flammable gas.

Many of the residents of the New Mark were forced out on the street Sunday night, and some said there was a bad smell coming from the unit.

One resident who attended the unit after the explosion said the “kitchen was blown apart and there’s a huge hole in the wall.”

A photo posted on Facebook shows exposed beams of a wall inside one unit in the apartment.

A resident who said she lives below the unit in question said much of her property is seriously damaged by water after the fire was put out.

Speculation on social media quickly went towards the fire’s cause coming from illegal drug cooking of some kind in the apartment.

“[It’s] definitely really suspicious as the guy in the unit was saying something was on the stove and then the explosion happened but the female from the unit said they were just cooking spaghetti,” one neighbour said.


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