An early morning fire caused $200,000 in damage to a specialized foster home in Cedar Hill on Wednesday.
Around 1:34 a.m., the Saanich Fire Department and Saanich Police responded to a blaze at a home at 3970 Cedar Hill Cross Rd. The house was heavily involved with smoke and fire, but the four occupants – one adult and three teenage youth – managed to escape before emergency crews arrived.
Investigators were on scene throughout the day, trying to determine the cause of the blaze. Sgt. Steve Eassie said the forensics team was brought in because the circumstances of the fire “appear as though they may be suspicious in nature.”
“Any time there’s a potential of a criminal act… our forensics team is going to work hand in hand with fire investigators,” he said. “We cannot say definitively at this point, but it would appear that the fire likely started on the exterior of the home, which in and of itself is suspicious.”
The carport was completely gutted, with the fire spreading to other rooms of the house. Nineteen firefighters battled the blaze, with two engines, two ladder trucks, one rescue truck and a battalion vehicle on site.
As a precaution, the four residents were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation and have since been released. The three youths residing at the home have been successfully relocated by staff from the Ministry of Children and Families and are being provided ongoing support.
Some surrounding homes were evacuated until the fire was contained, but Battalion Chief Eric Iverson said he didn’t notice any damage to surrounding properties.