The boarded-up home on Tyee Point, which had been covered with graffiti by trespassing squatters and partiers, burned to the ground on Sept. 21 of this year.
At the time, West Vancouver Fire & Rescue’s chief said the blaze was likely human caused.
West Vancouver police issued a release on Tuesday, confirming the fire is now considered a case of arson, and showing surveillance images of four people seen leaving the area before the first crews arrived.
Police described the people captured on video as a white male wearing a black hoody with white printing on the front, black pants and black and white shoes; a white female wearing a dark brown or black jacket, a multi-coloured backpack, black pants, black and white shoes as well as a black, grey and white camouflage Tilly style hat; a white male wearing a black hoody with yellow or white lettering across the back, baseball hat, black pants, black shoes and carrying a dark bag; and a white female wearing a black crop top under a pink hoody, black pants and white shoes.
Curiously, video footage released by police shows that people in the video had swapped some articles of clothing between the time they first appeared and when they were seen again, 40 minutes later.
McLean said it isn’t clear if the people are suspects in the arson or witnesses who can provide key information to investigators. In either case, police are hoping they or someone who recognizes them will come forward.
The 1951 home had long been a curiosity for passing ferry travellers, with its idyllic setting but decrepit state.
Since 1992, the property has been owned by PAK Construction Ltd., a company with an address at a residential home in the British Properties.
The two principals of the company, Kazem and Efat Askari, are both citizens or permanent residents of Canada and live in West Vancouver, according to B.C.’s Land Owner Transparency Registry. They’ve owned the house since 1992, when their company bought the property for just over $2 million. It was last assessed at almost $8 million.
Anyone with information about the arson is asked to contact West Vancouver Police Department’s non-emergency number 604-925-7300.