Firefighters extinguish a fire in a barbecue of a second-storey apartment patio on Ware Street in Abbotsford on Sunday morning.

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

An Abbotsford family is recovering from a harrowing experience, when a stranger climbed onto their second-storey apartment balcony and set a fire.

It happened on Sunday morning in the 2600 block of Ware Street at the home of a couple and their two-year-old son.

The woman, Ashley (who asked that her last name not be published), wrote on Facebook that the family was woken up by a “huge smash” on their patio, and they thought someone was breaking in.

The first thing they noticed when they rushed toward their patio was that the living room window was smashed and a man was “babbling and yelling, not making sense, acting wild.”

They then noticed their new barbecue was on fire, with flames so high they touched the ceiling. The blaze caused the glass panels on their patio to explode.

They grabbed a huge jug from their water cooler and dumped it on the flames.

Meanwhile, the stranger – still screaming and babbling – had jumped onto their neighbours’ patio.

An off-duty police officer was driving by on his way to work and called the fire department.

READ MORE: Woman found dead after Abbotsford apartment fire

Once the fire was out, the couple was able to survey the damage.

“Blood and glass all over my couch and my son’s elephant teddy. Our window is smashed out. The patio is a huge mess. My treasured wooden table is taken apart and smashed into pieces. There’s water and glass everywhere in our house,” Ashley wrote.

Police also arrived and had to knock down the neighbours’ door to get the man off the patio and arrest him.

Ashley said she then learned the stranger had apparently used her vintage wooden table on the patio to light the fire in their barbecue with the intent of “cooking” drugs.

She said several of her son’s toys and their Christmas lights were also tossed onto the fire.

MICHAEL RODDEN

The incident makes her “absolutely sick.”

“Apparently, we aren’t safe in our homes anymore, even on second-floor ‘secure’ buildings … I’m just thankful my son is OK and the fire didn’t spread into our house thanks to the Abby fire team,” Ashley wrote.

Michael Rodden, 32, has been charged with arson and mischief in relation to the incident, and remains in custody.

According to the provincial court database, Rodden has numerous convictions for offences such as possession of stolen property, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, uttering threats, stealing vehicles, break-and-enter, unlawful confinement, possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of child pornography. The convictions date back to 2006 and almost all of them occurred in Abbotsford.

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

 

This is the aftermath of a fire that was set on a second-storey apartment patio on Ware Street in Abbotsford on Sunday morning. A number of items were also destroyed, including a vintage table, and the glass panels were shattered from the fire.

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

‘It’s frightening’: Hemlock Valley trucker on being on the road during COVID-19

Armed with a keychain-sized hand sanitizer, trucker Brennan Bateman set out for the United States

SD78, meet your new superintendent

Balan Moorthy takes over from Karen Nelson August 1

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Insurance shock for B.C. condo owners

Claim-free two-year-old townhouse complex told premium will nearly triple

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

Most Read