A firefighter examines the damage caused by a fire that broke out Tuesday morning on Laurica Farm.

Updated: Fire at Laurica Farm causes extensive damage to family home

Township fire department says charging cell phone is to blame for a house fire at an organic farm in Aldergrove on Tuesday morning

A popular organic farm in Aldergrove is temporarily closed, after a fire broke out on Tuesday morning.

Cathy Finley (pictured below), who owns Laurica Farm at 25775 12 Ave. with her husband, Ian, had plugged her cellphone inside the house to charge, then went out to the barn to tend to her animals.

Around 10:30 a.m., she came back to the house to find it engulfed in smoke and flames.

Finley, wearing an air cast from a previous foot injury, ran down the long country road to her neighbour’s house to call the fire department.

Fire crews quickly arrived and doused the flames before the entire house was destroyed.

There were no injuries to any of the people at the farm, nor to their many animals.

Investigators have determined it was a room and contents fire — started by the charging phone — which also caused extensive smoke damage throughout the home, Township Deputy Fire Chief Bruce Ferguson told the Times.

In all, between $10,000 and $15,000 in damage was done, and early estimates indicated the Finley’s would be able to move back into their home, Ferguson said.

The cellphone was not a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which has recently been recalled for catching fire, Ferguson added.

However, according to a close family friend and farmhand, Laura McKecknie, the Finley’s will not be moving back into their home anytime soon. McKecknie said that the damage is quite extensive — potentially much more than $15,000 worth — and will most likely result in the home being demolished. This information was received after the Times’ press deadline.

In the meantime, Cathy, Ian, and their two daughters, Lauren and Jessica, who are 16 and nine, have been put up in a hotel.

McKecknie has also organized a GoFundMe Page for the Finleys and is taking phone calls on their behalf.

“We’ve had a great amount of community support already, so many people have been offering up things. They are at a point where everything is still kind of confusing,” McKecknie said.

“I think they are all still in a little bit of a state of shock.”

McKecknie is continuing to care for the animals at the farm — including cats, dogs, goats, ducks, chickens and pigs — and plans to organize a clothing drive soon.

“We have battened down the hatches at the farm today for the pending three storms on their way and cleared out the house as best we can,” McKecknie wrote in a Facebook post on the Laurica Farm page yesterday.

“Obviously this has been hard both emotionally and physically on all of us today but we will soldier on … Thanks again everyone for all of your support in this hard time.”

The Finleys moved to Canada from England in 2009, and started operating their permaculture farm three years ago. Over the summer they hosted many large farm events, including the 22nd annual Metro Vancouver Feast of Fields last month.

They were also recently nominated for a Small Business BC Award in the “Premier’s People’s Choice” category.

Anyone who wishes to help the Finley’s can do so online at https://www.gofundme.com/laurica-farm-fire-2ttxhas.

Just Posted

Firefighters come to the rescue of Langley stroke survivors

Hope After Stroke receives major infusion after Cruise-In donation falls short of expectation.

Cloverdale banker shares his love of swing dancing

Cloverdale’s Phillip Kunz shows dancing newcomers how to get into the swing of things

Woman charged in Abbotsford mall stabbing served time for 2001 killing

Victim in Edmonton killing was stabbed eight times with kitchen knife

Trial date scheduled for man charged with killing Abbotsford officer

Oscar Arfmann slated to go to trial in New Westminster in January 2019

All welcome to go on Whoo’s Hoot Owl Prowl in South Langley

Evening event focuses on owls at Campbell Valley Regional Park

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Council tells TransLink commission to make sure road pricing is fair

Maple Ridge tells road pricing commission to make sure system is fair

Most Read