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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

UPDATE: body of missing man located

Jerret Snow was last seen May 19

Schools preparing for optional part-time classes for students

Parents will have the choice whether or not to return their children to class

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

82% of all test-positive COVID-19 cases in B.C. have recovered

B.C. had 303 active cases as of Saturday, May 23

Most Read