Feature Story                                                           Friday April 29, 2016


Man Burned in Kitchen Blaze

Initial reports say a grease fire responsible for injuries

Staff/Voice photos


A Chilliwack firefighter assists a man who was injured in an apartment blaze on Fletcher Ave just over a week ago. Below, an assistant fire chief gives a small child a Dalmatian stuffed toy.


irefighters, ambulance and police rushed to a small apartment building in the 9300-block of Fletcher Ave Tuesday evening, April 19, after reports of an explosion and a man who was somehow burned in what was initially said to have been a grease fire.


Tenants had evacuated the building by the time crews were on-scene in several Chilliwack Fire Department vehicles.


A shirtless man in his 50s, seen staggering outside, was immediately assisted by paramedics and firefighters, who got him to lay down on the grass while they treated him for apparent burns to his chest and hands. A woman with red marks and soot on her face assured the man.


The victim was fitted with an oxygen mask for treatment of smoke inhalation, and held his hands up, which also appeared to be burned. Paramedics worked on the man for 15-20 minutes before moving him to an ambulance and taking him to Chilliwack General Hospital for further treatment.


Meanwhile, police could be seen looking around in the darkened unit. It's not clear what they were looking for. There was some speculation from others who lived in the building and locals who lived nearby, that the man was engaged in the production of what's known on the street as "budder" or marijuana extract, which apparently is made using cans of butane, and that was what had exploded.


According to the information we have, the production of illegal drugs using this method is dangerous, and if a can does explode it sends shrapnel flying in all directions. Police did not say if there was anything illegal happening in the suite, however acknowledged that some kind of incident took place.


Police were seen inside the apartment which had the power switched off until crews could checked for any issues, and properly ventilate the building with fans at the doorways. Below, tenants huddle outside their apartments.


"I can confirm police received a report to assist Chilliwack Fire Department at an address on Fletcher," said RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail, RCMP spokesperson.


When asked about a possible explosion, Rail said the police didn't know about one having taken place at the apartment.


 "I do not have information an explosion occurred," he added.


A woman with a young child, who apparently lived in the building, showed up and tried to get to her suite, but became distraught when crews stopped her from entering.


The assistant fire chief spoke with the woman, then went to the fire truck and returned with a Dalmatian stuffed toy in a firefighter hat for the child.  Eventually, the tenants were allowed to return to their units.


If you have information which could assist in this investigation, you can contact the City of Chilliwack Fire Department at 604.792.8713 or the RCMP at 604.792.4611










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