Neighbour rescues trapped occupants after arson fire in Cultus Lake area
A Chilliwack man in his 40s has been taken into custody after an early morning fire tore through two mobile homes in Cultus Lake.
There are no reports of injuries according to the RCMP, but some residents have lost everything.
Chief Warren Mazuren with the Cultus Lake Volunteer Fire Department said crews were called just after midnight for a report of a fire contained to an RV, but when firefighters arrived, they found the flames had spread to a trailer home at Cultus Lake Village.
“It was quite the scene, obviously. Had it been any later in the season we might be looking at you know, some candling up into the trees, so we were lucky that way,” Mazuren said.
The Chilliwack fire department was called in to assist. Mazuren said there were also issues with water supply due to the power being cut off at the mobile home park.
“We ended up running a hydrant from the top of the hill, approximately 600 metres of hose,” Mazuren said.
Cpl. Mike Rail with the Upper Fraser Valley RCMP said the fire is now an arson investigation. He said a suspect was located by officers and a dog unit not far away. A 42 year-old man from Chilliwack is in custody.
“It’s very fortunate that no one was injured,” Rail said.
Robyn Dwinnell lives at the mobile home park, and told CTV News Vancouver she saw the flames “shooting sky-high” from her home. She said one of the trailers belongs to a friend of hers who has a disability and relies on a motorized scooter.
“My fear was that she may have perished in the trailer and that...that scared me,” Dwinnell said.
Her friend got out OK, along with another longtime resident who lived in the second damaged trailer, thanks to the help of neighbour Jordan Colley.
“I just kicked it in high gear and went down and booted the door and dragged a couple people out and a couple animals and that’s the best I could do,” Colley said.
Dwinnell says there are plans to set up an online fundraiser to help her two neighbours.
“They don’t deserve to be where they’re at, you know. It was her home, she worked hard to get it, and now it’s taken away because of whatever happened. She deserves something better,” Dwinnell said.
The Chilliwack RCMP Serious Crime Unit is overseeing the arson investigation. Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call the Chilliwack RCMP at 604-792-4611, or Crime Stoppers.