Even the blackened shell of the house couldn’t disguise what once was a character home in the Salmon River Uplands.
Built approximately 80 years ago, the house at 24121 48 Ave. had been lifted to create a full basement, and a loft had been built above the main floor.
Surrounded by mature evergreens, the house had little landscaping. An ornamental bush on the east side was singed, but a circular patch with hundreds of purple and white crocuses escaped the worst of the heat and water.
Shortly after 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, the house went up in flames, destroying the structure causing the roof to collapse.
No one was injured.
The only sign of human habitation was a Scrabble table, a couch, and two computers which were not plugged in.
The owners of the house had recently evicted the renters, said Township fire department spokesman Bruce Ferguson.
The cause of the fire is undermined, Ferguson said, but investigators believe it was deliberately set.
The fire drew a large crowd to 48 Avenue, and firefighters and apparatus from Willoughby, Aldergrove and Otter halls.
Two hours earlier, fire crews from Murrayville, Willoughby, Brookswood and Aldergrove raced to 3492 205 St., to fight a barn fire. The barn was badly damaged, and the flames destroyed a harvest of marijuana growing in two shipping containers.
Ferguson was unable to say what started the fire.
Police were at the scene of both fires late on Monday morning.
The large turnout of fire crews to the two fires was needed because the neighbourhoods where the fires occurred have no municipal water, Ferguson said.