The fire that destroyed a 3500 sq. ft. Langley barn on Sunday morning was deliberately set, the fire department said.
The early morning blaze gutted the structure in the 6900 block of 232 Street, causing the roof to collapse.
Deputy fire chief Bruce Ferguson said investigators believe it was arson because there were “no utilities active at the time of the fire, no hay or any form of natural ignition inside the barn.”
The empty barn was originally used for livestock.
There was no insurance on the barn but it was going to be disassembled so the wood could be repurposed, said owner Joel Schacter, who is planning to build a new house on the unoccupied site.
“There was plenty of good wood,” Schacter said, “but there’s not much left now.”
Schacter told the Times it appears someone broke down the metal gate to the property, then used the barn to strip two stolen boats for parts before moving the parts, including the gate, by stealing a utility trailer that Schacter had parked on the site.
It appears the thieves set fire to the barn to cover their tracks, Schacter said.
“(It happened) all in one day,” Schacter said.
Dan Morgan, who lives across the street, said he was awakened by the sound of an explosion around 6 a.m.
“There was a small one (explosion), then one big one,” Morgan told The Times.
“Big chunks of ash” started landing in his front yard.
He estimates as many as 10 fire trucks responded, along with police.
It took about six hours to completely extinguish the fire.