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

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Tool and camping gear lending library to open in Revelstoke

Samantha Wex Special to the Review The North Columbia Environmental Society is… Continue reading

Two senior City of Revelstoke staff on paid leave

The City of Revelstoke’s Chief Administrative Officer, Allan Chabot and the city’s… Continue reading

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Most long-weekend rain has already fallen

A mix of sun and cloud is expected for the last two days of the the Victoria Day weekend.

Weather holds up for Rutland May Days

60th annual May Day midway, market and entertainment saw hundreds of attendees

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Former Greyhound Canada employees gather in Okanagan to say a final farewell

“Greyhound may take our jobs but they will never take our friendships,” says former bus driver

Kelowna firefighters douse blaze in hedges

The cause of the fire on Renfrew Road is under investigation.

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Okanagan Springtime Regatta draws more than 50 sailboats

Sailors treated to windy, excellent long weekend conditions on Okanagan Lake in Kelowna

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Okanagan tattoo fundraiser draws tons of support

Lineup around the block in Vernon for start of Five Fathoms Tattoo event for Children’s Hospital

Most Read