A Prairie Central Road house destined to go up in flames burned to the ground Monday evening, but not in the way the Chilliwack Fire Department had hoped.
Fire officials had been preparing the unoccupied house to be used for training exercises over the next couple weeks. The training was intended to culminate with a live fire exercise that would destroy the building.
But arsons got to the house first.
Fire crews arrived at the house—in the 46000 block of Prairie Central Road—just before 10 p.m. to find it fully involved.
Firefighters contained the blaze and eventually extinguished the flames, but not before the house was completely destroyed.
Assistant fire chief Ian Josephson said the department's training plans didn't go up in smoke with the house. He said crews are now prepping another rural Chilliwack house to be used for training purposes.
Still, fire officials aren't happy about what they and the Chilliwack RCMP are calling an arson.
"It takes away a training opportunity for us," Josephson said. "It's a structure fire that we're not planning on having so you always put firefighters at risk whenever you're going to something like this."
Josephson said Monday's fire was the first time arsons had burned down a house intended for training during his time with the department.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 604-792-4611 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.