The rental house has now been boarded up and may be torn down.

Fire, police, bylaws had all been to Maple Ridge rental house

Property manager, councillor was 'over there all the time'

Cleanup of a troubled rental house on Edge Street is now underway after a fire Sunday.

The Maple Ridge Fire Department requested this week that garbage be removed from the house at 12038 Edge Street as soon as possible and that the building be secured until it’s either torn down or repaired.

By Wednesday, a three-man cleanup crew wading through the junk, at some points chest-high, cleaning up the litter, quickly filling one container that had been brought on to the site.

If a decision is made to tear down the building, that’s no longer a simple process, explained fire chief Dane Spence.

First a hazmat assessment must be done and any hazardous material in the building, usually asbestos, has to be removed before demolition crews move in to level the place.

While Spence said the property wasn’t identified as a problem for the fire department, it has received four calls there in the past four years.

One, in March 2007, was about a drug overdose.

Another, from March 2008, involved a burning complaint, while the fire department has a record of an assault there in June 2008.

Sunday’s fire was the most recent incident.

The house may have had some suites inside.

“There was evidence of some squatting. It looked like there were at least two suites,” Spence added.

Maple Ridge Coun. Al Hogarth, a realtor, has been managing the property for the past few years and evicted the renters on Oct. 31.

He said it was a lengthy effort to get the three residents to follow clean-up orders.

“I did what I had to do under the Residential Tenancy Act, because they weren’t complying with any request. They were totally against everything within the rental agreement that they signed.

“It was a long and dusty road … thanks to our liberal Residential Tenancy Act.”

He said under the act, tenants can be evicted with a month’s notice for not following bylaw regulations.

He had to provide notice each time he visited.

“The antics that were going on there. I can’t kick people out because they have friends come to visit them.”

The tenants were in there for quite some time, Hogarth added. They would clean the property up, then it would get messy again.

“I was over there constantly.”

He said they were told to clean up four times. “This last time they didn’t. They realized they had to go because I had had enough.”

Ridge Meadows RCMP say there have been four calls at the property in 2011, two resulting in no action.

But a call on March 23 of this year resulted in police seizing crystal meth, cocaine and heroine from the residence, with no charges resulting from the seizure.

The only file still active is the one concerning Sunday’s blaze, which is being investigated as suspicious.

Current assessment records say the owner of the property is Topia Ivy Club Maple, with a Burnaby mailing address. A director of that company lives in Maple Ridge.

The company also owns the two lots immediately to the east of the house that caught fire.

According to Maple Ridge bylaws director Liz Holitzky, the property had two bylaw complaints concerning illegal suites, one from 2006 and one from 2010, then in 2007, a complaint of a homeless person on the property.

There were also eight complaints under the untidy-unsightly premises bylaw, five of those initiated by the district under its policy that allows bylaw officials to initiate investigations in the downtown, without waiting for a complaint from the public.

Each time, letters are sent to the property owner to clean up. If they do so, the file is closed.

There are no open files on the property, said Holitzky.

Just Posted

Permanent daylight saving time suits farmer

B.C. government asking for public feedback about changing the clock

Pitt Meadows senior’s car vandalized for more than 18 months

Retired RCMP officer determined to catch ‘tagger’

UPDATE: Longboarder, 14, and car collide near Maple Ridge tent city

Teen taken to hospital by ambulance, injuries not life threatening

Canada Day a big show in Maple Ridge memorial park

Starts at noon, entertainment all day, July 1

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

Former Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

B.C. Olympic skier sues Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Man arrested for alleged indecent act after ‘predatory’ SkyTrain incident

A woman had reported the man had exposed himself while on the train on April 29

Two helicopters reportedly seized by RCMP near U.S. border south of Cultus Lake

Federal Mounties mum on raid two weeks after dramatic raid reported by Columbia Valley residents

Most Read