Firefighters Bryan McNeil (from right), Michael Poole, Josh Pettigrew and Captain Bryan Erwin get acquainted with Colwood Fire Rescue’s new engine. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)

West Shore RCMP investigating suspicious fire at vacant Colwood home

Nearly 30 firefighters responded to late-night call at Betula Avenue house

West Shore RCMP is investigating the cause of a house fire reported in the 3300-block of Betula Avenue in Colwood the night of July 19.

At around 11:30 p.m., 29 firefighters from Colwood Fire Rescue responded to multiple reports of a fire within the Colwood cul de sac. Although the fire did not spread beyond the back of the home, acting Fire Chief Greg Chow said there was a high risk that adjacent houses or greenery in the bushy neighbourhood could have been ignited.

Once fire crews extinguished the blaze and determined the house was completely vacant, Chow said, they began looking to see whether the cause of the fire might be suspicious.

“We’re not deeming it as completely suspicious,” he said. “But we always have to look at the worst and go from there.”

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West Shore RCMP investigators remained at the property Tuesday looking at evidence.

“If this had caught and spread we would be dealing with a very different, possibly tragic situation,” said West Shore RCMP Const. Meighan Massey. “It is due to the swift actions of the Colwood Fire Rescue Service that this did not spread and the neighbourhood remained safe.”

Chow also thanked multiple residents of Betula Avenue who called to report the fire.

West Shore RCMP asks that anyone with information that may relate to the July 19 fire call 250-474-2264. Those who wish to report what they know anonymously can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

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