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Fire damages vacant North Vancouver home awaiting redevelopment

Neighbours say the home has been boarded up for about two years

A Lynn Creek home long boarded up and slated for demolition and redevelopment was severely damaged by fire late Tuesday night (April 12).

District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services received calls reporting smoke and flames coming from the home on the 400 block of Marie Place just before 11 p.m, said fire Chief Brian Hutchinson.

Getting the blaze doused was fairly straight forward, Hutchinson said. Crews attacked it from the outside and prevented it from spreading to other structures nearby. They had the fire out by about 12:30 a.m.

There was no one in the building at the time of the fire, Hutchinson said.

In January this year, council approved a plan to rezone the properties on the west side of the street for two six-storey strata buildings. Most of the homes there today are fenced off and boarded up pending demolition.

Neighbour Rosel Abad told the North Shore News he asked his wife to call 911 when he realized the home was on fire.

Abad said the house has been vacant for about two years. He assumed someone had let themselves in to keep out of the cold.

“It's so disheartening now that everything's being demolished,” he said. “I just saw them being demolished and thought ‘Well, there goes my neighbourhood.”

The investigation only just started earlier today, and the fire's cause is as yet undetermined, Hutchinson said. But he added, fire departments always have concerns about vacant buildings.

“Our concern is always for the safety of anyone making entry into these buildings, as well as the safety of the public living in the immediate area,” he said. “We are following up. We realize that vacant structures pose a challenge, and we're working with the developer to ensure that there's some kind of a presence on scene moving forward just to make sure that hazard is mitigated.”

Hutchinson said he has also asked the RCMP to step up patrols in the area.