A fire Monday morning at the site of a former Malakwa grow op is being considered suspicious.
Reports of a structural fire on Ward Road started coming in around 10:30 Monday morning, says Columbia Shuswap Regional District Fire Services Co-ordinator Kenn Mount, and when the Malakwa firefighters arrived on the scene, the two-storey building was fully engulfed.
With assistance from the Sicamous fire department, Mount said firefighters were able to have the blaze contained in about an hour.
“The department did a good job of dealing with it, attacking it quickly, and support from Sicamous was a great help to the Malakwa unit.”
Mount says the building was abandoned, and no one was injured in the fire. He says the investigation is ongoing and, at the moment, the blaze is being considered suspicious.
“It does look suspicious as there has been a history of fires on that property,” said Mount, confirming it to be an old mill site, and the same location as a former marijuana grow where another structure burned to the ground.
“I guess a few years ago there was an incident there from a former grow operation,” said Mount. “There’s still quite a bit of debris from that last incident a few years ago as well.”
The previous fire occurred in February 2010. The fire occurred in an 8,000-square-foot steel framed building that had housed what was described by police as a “very extensive” grow operation.
Police on the scene of Monday’s fire didn’t see anything suspicious, noting there was no electricity being provided to the property.
While the damage was thorough, the dollar loss is estimated at $15,000.
Video footage courtesy of William Rowbottom.