Surrey trailer park explosion, fire treated as suspicious
CTV British Columbia
Published Saturday, December 29, 2012 11:50AM PST
Last Updated Saturday, December 29, 2012 6:16PM PST
Police say arson may be responsible for a fire that destroyed two mobile homes and damaged three others at a trailer park in North Surrey on Friday night.
Residents say they heard an explosion around 8:30 p.m. Gene Reyneud said he rushed outside to look, and saw fire “as high as the trees.”
“It felt like a pipe bomb just went off,” he said on Saturday. “It shook the whole place, it just felt like an earthquake.”
Lawrence O’Neill lives next door to one of the trailers that was flattened. He was at home with a friend when he heard the explosion.
“We’re sitting at my dining room table and the window starts to explode, and blinds start to melt, and the blinds start coming down,” he said.
Firefighters were able to put out the blaze. No one was injured, but the residents of the damaged units have been taken to a shelter, police said.
Joseph Eden, O’Neill’s friend, said he saw someone running from the scene on Friday night when he opened O’Neill’s mobile home door to get out.
“I saw him running, I said ‘Hey,’” he said. “He turned around, looked at me, kept on running, and I followed him briefly, but I was more concerned about the people here.”
On Saturday, officers, arson investigators and an explosive disposal unit were on scene to examine the damage. Carr says the case is being treated as a potential arson, as it appears two men were seen fleeing from the scene.
“We do not know if they have anything to do with this,” he said. “If they know who they are, we’d like them to come forward and speak to us.”
Carr also said it appears that one particular unit was targeted. Several neighbours said they’ve heard “rumours” about the tenant living in there, but they did not elaborate.
“We’re going to look at any and all avenues, the history of the individual whose trailer was primarily focused on,” said Carr. “We’re going to look at any causes they would draw attention to themselves.”
Despite the devastation, one piece of good news came out of it. Police managed to rescue O’Neill’s cat, which he adopted just days ago. An investigator found the frightened nine-week-old kitten sleeping beneath the couch in O’Neill’s unit.
The kitten was so new, she didn’t have a name. But O’Neill says she has one now.
“I think it’s going to be Lucky now,” he said. “Lucky Kitty.”
With files from CTV British Columbia’s Michele Brunoro