A farmhouse in Pitt Meadows was destroyed in a suspicious fire early Sunday.
Flames were shooting high into the sky and the home on Old Dewdney Trunk Road near Hale Road was engulfed when the fire department arrived after receiving a call around 6 a.m.
Fire chief Don Jolley doesn’t know who called in the fire.
The property is located on Twin Berry Farms and was being rented out to a couple, said owner Newton Sahota.
Neighbours referred to the property as a “drug house” that was frequented by many unsavoury people.
Pitt fire chief Don Jolley said seven people at the scene admitted they were sleeping inside when fire started. Two other people were known to live there, but were not present.
“There may have been more as well since no one was really forthright,” said Jolley.
The residents were woken up by someone yelling “fire” and all escaped unharmed.
Jolley said the person or persons who alerted the residents didn’t wait for the fire department to arrive.
Fire fighters focused on keeping the flames from spreading and did not enter the house. There were arching power lines and the gas meter was also on fire.
Jolley said the crews’ approach was defensive and the fire was fought from the exterior as it was too dangerous.
Firefighters did not get too close to the house until the power was shut off an hour after the initial call and gas shut down more than two hours later.
“The house was virtually completely consumed by fire as a result with nothing inside salvageable at all,” said Jolley.
Fill the boot
Firefighters from the Pitt Meadows department will be collecting donations on Saturday or Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s annual Fill the Boot campaign.
The proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards helping those living with muscular dystrophy by providing them with the essential services they need to live healthy, active and independent lives.
Look for firefighters:
• outside of the Real Canadian Superstore between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and the B.C. Liquor Store between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. as well as Cineplex Odeon Theatres;
• outside IGA and Starbucks at MeadowVale Shopping Centre between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.;
• Roosters Country Cabaret between 10 p.m. and midnight;
• as well as Samz Neighbourhood Pub and the Jolly Coachman.