An abandoned house in Willoughby was consumed by fire on Friday night. It was the third empty house in as many weeks to burn, said Township assistant fire chief Pat Walker. Curtis Kreklau photo

VIDEO: Three weeks, three vacant house fires in Langley Township (update)

Homeless squatters believed responsible

There have been three fires over the last three Fridays in vacant houses in Langley Township’s Willoughby neighbourhood, all of them believed to be the result of homeless squatters.

Langley Township assistant fire chief Pat Walker said because the Willoughby area area is experiencing a lot of development, there are a number of houses awaiting demolition.

He said the situation is similar to Surrey and Vancouver where fire departments are dealing with blazes in empty houses.

“We’re not an anomaly,” Walker said.

The most recent incident occurred last Friday, just after 10 p.m. in the 20500 block of 70 Avenue where a large two-storey chalet-style home was destroyed.

Previous incidents took place at properties in 206A and 204 streets, Walker said.

Property owners who fail to properly secure an unoccupied house could potentially be billed for the entire costs of fire suppression efforts, Walker warned.

With files from Curtis Kreklau, South Fraser News Services

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