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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

5 to 10 cm of snow still coming to Fraser Valley: Environment Canada

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

Slideshow: Hope’s winter weather in photos

Readers submit photos of Hope under a blanket of snow

RCMP looking for tips in rash of crime in Hope

Theives broke into homes and cars in the Kawkawa Lake area

Fraser Cascade superintendent announces retirement

Dr. Karen Nelson has worked for School District 78 for 29 years

FVRD seeking outdoor rec feedback

Open house meetings slated for next week

VIDEO: Highway 1 left looking like winter war zone with dozens of stranded vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowly landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Fraser Valley motorist drives up vehicle ramp and onto parked trailer on Chilliwack road

The incident happened after Chilliwack was handed another dump of snow Friday night

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

VIDEO: Newbie Vancouver Giants leads victory over Victoria 4-1 Friday

The G-Men play Saturday in Victoria before hosting Kamloops on home ice in Langley Sunday afternoon

Most Read