A section of Johnston Road was blocked last week as White Rock firefighters extinguished a fire at Deals World. (Aaron Hinks photo)

A section of Johnston Road was blocked last week as White Rock firefighters extinguished a fire at Deals World. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Unattended campfire likely the source of Deals World fire

White Rock store damaged

The White Rock Fire Department says the damage done to Deals World last week was likely caused by a small, unattended campfire.

Deputy fire Chief Bob Schlase told Peace Arch News last week that firefighters were called at approximately 5:30 a.m., Dec. 27 to Deals World to a fire burning the exterior, northeast corner of the building.

He said the majority of the fire damage was done to the exterior.

Fire Chief Phil Lemire said Tuesday that the investigation indicates “evidence of people spending time back there,” and that the fire could have been caused by an unattended cooking fire, or fire used to keep warm.

Last week, area resident Tom Oakes told PAN the fire appeared to have started “in the back by the dumpsters.”

“Roof damage also on top of the loading dock,” Oakes wrote.

White Rock firefighters tapped multiple hydrants while fighting the fire and RCMP blocked Johnston Road from Thrift to Roper until reopening it to traffic later that morning.

The property, at 1350 Johnston Rd., is to be the site of a 12-storey mixed-use highrise development.

White Rock council approved the project in October, after an adjustment was made to the plan that reduced its height to bring it in line with guidelines for the Lower Johnston area in the new official community plan.

Peace Arch News