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Blaze levels mushroom barn near Surrey/Langley border


Surrey firefighters are trying to determine what caused a spectacular fire in a mushroom farm barn in Port Kells Monday morning.

Deputy fire chief Dan Barnscher said the barn contained a licensed medical marijuana growing operation.

“According to Health Canada, they were licensed to grow in excess of hundreds of plants,” Barnscher said. “We don’t know at this point whether that was anything to do with the origin of the fire, but we do know it did house a medical grow.”

Twenty firefighters and six fire engines battled the blaze, which consumed a 100-foot-long barn at 18646 88th Ave. It contained 536 plants.

By mid-afternoon Monday firefighters had all but knocked the fire down, but an inspector had not yet been able to enter the wreckage to assess the cause.

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet said police are preparing, if need be, to launch an arson investigation.

“From their first impression they believe the fire is suspicious,” Paquet said. “At this point in time it hasn’t been confirmed.”

The fire started at about 9 a.m. Nobody was in the barn at the time and no injuries have been reported.

A black column of smoke could be seen from kilometres away. A second cloud rose over Langley just before 3 a.m. when a truck caught fire on Highway One between 200th Street and 232nd Street.

- Tom Zytaruk is a Surrey Now reporter.