A bear likely caused a barn fire in Pitt Meadows. (THE NEWS/files) ‘There was no sign of the bear.’ (THE NEWS/files)

Bear likely knocked over heat lamp and caused B.C. barn fire: chief

Previous Friday, bear broke into the old barn and killed four chickens.

A bear looking for breakfast may have knocked over a heat lamp in a chicken coop and started a fire, destroying a barn in Pitt Meadows early Saturday.

Pitt Meadows fire deputy chief Brad Perrie said crews got the call to the 12800-block Woolridge Road at about 4:20 a.m.

It’s not possible to say conclusively what happened, but firefighters know the fire started in the chicken coop, where there was a heat lamp to keep the chicks warm.

They also know that, on the previous Friday, a bear broke into the old barn and killed four chickens.

The owner had just made temporary repairs from that when the fire started the next day.

“There’s no way the heat lamp, we believe, would have fallen over on its own. It kind of makes sense, plausibly that the bear came back again, got into the chicken coup and, in the process of chasing around the chickens, knocked over the heat lamp, which we’re pretty sure started the fire,” Perrie said.

“That’s what we believe. I know it sounds crazy.”

The official cause of the fire is the heat lamp falling over, he added.

Upon smashing through the wall, however, the bear also provided an escape route for his prey. Several chickens scurried outside, getting away from the bear and the fire.

“We rounded up maybe eight or nine adults and about six chicks,” Perrie added.

Some others may still be loose, while others may have died in the fire or were killed by the bear.

Three trucks and 15 firefighters responded and quickly extinguished the fire. A house nearby on the property wasn’t at risk.

“There was no sign of the bear. The bear probably got out of there, for sure,” Perrie said.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Fire ban back in effect for Northwest Fire Centre region

Starting May 24, both Category 2 and Category 3 prohibitions will be in place

Convicted animal abuser Catherine Adams to return to B.C. court in July

Catherine Adams is under a 20-year ban on owning animals, from a 2015 sentence in Smithers

Good job boys

Oakley (L) and Storm sold lemonade in Houston to raise money to… Continue reading

The north, rural areas deserve own ICBC rates, says Houston council

Matter to be considered at provincial convention this fall

Houston get more initial attack crews

The BC Wildfire Service branches in Houston and Burns Lake are preparing… Continue reading

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Nisga’a Nation tourism industry hits the road

First pilot tour to the Nass Valley is set for this summer with Indigenous Tourism BC

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Most Read