Fire burns through Maple Ridge furniture shop

Blaze started at the back of Albion Flats Landscape Supply on Lougheed Highway just east of 105th Avenue

Firefighters hose down a wooden building that housed several businesses along Lougheed Highway

A building which houses a landscape business, stockpiles of cedar and hand-crafted furniture was badly damaged by fire Monday in Maple Ridge.

The blaze started just before 2:30 p.m. at the back of Albion Flats Landscape Supply, in a section leased by Marc’s Outdoor Furniture.

Marlyse Neukomme has owned the property since 1989 and lives in a house on site. She leases the barn-like building, where the fire started, to several businesses.

“It’s such a shock,” said Neukomme as she watched a line of firefighters haul hoses to the top of the barn where the fire had spread.

“I hope I can rebuild.”

Firefighters used chainsaws to cut through sections of the wooden structure and extinguish flames. As the property has no fire hydrant, the fire department linked hoses to connect to one about half a kilometre away at 105th Avenue. Westbound lanes of Lougheed Hwy. were shut down while crews from three fire halls battled the blaze.

The fire department is still investigating the cause of the fire but assistant fire chief Mark Smitton said it was clear the fire started inside.

“It’s an old building,” he added.

Kelly Mullen, who owns Albion Flats Landscape Supply, was with her husband at their daughter’s soccer game in Port Coquitlam when she got a frantic call from her sons who were on site. Their landscape business is located in front of the outdoor furniture shop.

“Our boys were working,” said Mullen, whose husband Oliver rushed back to Maple Ridge.

“We wanted to make sure our boys were safe – that was our biggest concern. We also have quite a bit of equipment that was near the building.”

The Maple Ridge Fire Department has turned the site over to the owner’s insurance company so it can assess the damage.

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