Township firefighter were able to knock down a blaze in an abandoned house in Willoughby early Saturday morning. But not before extensive damage was done. (Laurel Thomas/Special to Black Press Media)

UPDATED: Abandoned house blaze worries Langley neighbours

Redevelopment area of Willoughby attracts squatters and partiers, and fires fear area residents

Another house fire in Willoughby Friday morning has left area residents worried about the ongoing threat to their neighbourhood.

An abandon home in the 7600-block of 197th Street went up in flames just before 5 a.m., and neighbour Laurel Thomas commended the actions of Township firefighters for having prevented the blaze from spreading.

“Fortunately the firefighters were called and able to contain the fire to the house, protecting the forest and surrounding houses,” she explained.

Township firefighters got the call at 4:49 a.m., said deputy fire chief Bruce Ferguson.

Three fire halls responded to the blaze, but the empty house was destroyed.

The exact cause was unknown.

“Typically with abandoned houses, it’s not natural causes,” Ferguson said.

There was a previous fire at the same home about two weeks earlier, which Ferguson said may have been caused by someone buring the insulation of stolen copper wire.

Thomas said the house has been a problem for several months, in part due to squatters, vandalism, and illegal parties.

“My neighbours and I have seen several houses abandoned for future development,” she said. They remain subject to some of the same problems of vandalism, squatters, and dumping and have prompted neighbours to complain to the Township of Langley.

“But our concerns seem to be falling on deaf ears as the Township said ‘they are working on changes’,” Thomas said.

The neighbours have been asking that these houses be taken down as soon as the renters are moved out.

“It’s uncertain how this fire was started,” Thomas said. “But it’s a very big concern that our neighbourhood continues to be put at high risk for this to happen again unless they take these abandoned houses down immediately on their vacancy.”

There are bylaws that can force the owners of vacant properties to board up the homes and secure entrances, intended to prevent fires and vandalism.

If there is a vacant house that is a concern, call the Langley Township general line at 604-534-3211, and ask to speak to the bylaw enforcement department, said Ruby Senghera, manager of bylaws.

“We’re happy to follow up on that,” she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Township firefighter were able to knock down a blaze in an abandoned house in Willoughby early Saturday morning. But not before extensive damage was done. (Laurel Thomas/Special to Black Press Media)

Just Posted

VIDEO: House fire on Old Yale Road draws multiple fire units

No immediate reports of serious injuries

Party bus door fault for years ahead of Langley woman’s death: Coroner

Tuesday report classifed Chelsea James’ death accidental, but was critical of bus inspection process

Rising jazz stars welcome to apply for Fort Langley festival award

Winner will receive a scholarship of $1,000 and a main stage performance opportunity

Population growth slows in Langley Township

The community is still growing, however

Langley’s Dallas Smith earns fourth Juno award nomination for Country Album of the Year

The artist previously took home the award for his album Lifted in 2015

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Most Read