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B.C. trailer park blast, fire forces residents to flee

Cops view debris

DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS A fire investigator and firefighter discuss the situation Saturday while looking over the charred remains of a mobile home in Surrey, B.C. Two mobile homes were destroyed and three others were damaged after an explosion and fire at the trailer park Friday night.

SURREY, B.C.—Police were trying to determine what caused an explosion at a trailer park Friday night, demolishing or damaging five units.

Lawrence O’Neill said Saturday he was sitting at his kitchen table, showing a friend a video on his computer, when the trailer next door exploded with a “kaboom,” shattering his own window and setting the wall of his home ablaze.

His window blinds began to melt, and the kitten he’d adopted Christmas Eve ran under a smouldering couch. O’Neill grabbed his keys, cellphone and computer and ran out of his trailer. There he saw power lines spark and flames shoot out of a home next door.

“It’s really devastating. I wish it never happened,” said O’Neill.

Nobody was hurt, but as many as 15 people have been relocated, emergency officials said. Members of an explosives-disposal unit have joined the investigation to try to determine if the explosion and subsequent fire were deliberate.

“We don’t know what happened. We don’t know if it’s a gas leak that caused an explosion or if this was something that was done on purpose to, you know, as part of a get back at somebody,” said RCMP Cpl. Dale Carr.

“What I can tell you, as well, is there were two men seen fleeing from the area on foot right at the time of the explosion.”

Carr said police want to talk to those men.

Police were called to the trailer park just before 8 p.m. after receiving several calls about the explosion and fire, said Carr. When officers arrived on scene, they saw trailers “fully engulfed.”

Karen Fry, deputy chief of the Surrey Fire Service, said four trucks and about 12 firefighters responded to the conflagration, which burned one trailer to the ground and damaged two others so severely that they will likely have to be replaced. The trailers were about six metres apart.

The siding on two other trailers was also damaged. – News