Fifteen people were burned out of their homes after a fire destroyed a trailer park in North Surrey on Friday (Dec. 28), and police are investigating the possibility it was arson.
Gene Reyneud told CTV News he rushed outside to look, and saw fire “as high as the trees.”
“It felt like a pipe bomb just went off,” he said on Saturday. “It shook the whole place. It just felt like an earthquake.”
Firefighters were able to douse the blaze, which started about 8:30 p.m., but several of the units in the park at 126 Street and 112A Avenue were destroyed.
No one was injured, but 10 people had to be relocated to homeless shelters. Another five people are staying with family or friends.
On Saturday, police officers, arson investigators, and an explosive disposal unit were on scene to examine the damage.
On Monday, Surrey RCMP forensic teams – along with fire investigators – were working to determine what caused the blaze.
The possibility of arson is being investigated, according to Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet, who added some of the residents of the trailer park are known to police.
“Definitely, we are familiar with the location and some of the individual residents of some of the trailers affected,” Paquet said. “But at this point we haven’t pinpointed the (origin) of the fire.”
Despite the devastation, one piece of good news came out of the incident. Police managed to rescue Lawrence O’Neill’s cat, which he adopted just days ago. An investigator found the frightened nine-week-old kitten sleeping beneath the couch in O’Neill’s unit.
The kitten was so new, she didn’t have a name. But O’Neill says she has one now.
“I think it’s going to be Lucky,” he told CTV News. “Lucky Kitty.”
~with files from CTV News