Fire renews concerns about vacant property

Business owners fed up with former Allwood Estates Mobile Home Park in Abbotsford

The onwer of a business adjacent to the former Allwood Estates Mobile Home Park took this photo of a camp set up on the empty lot. Three tiki torches can be seen leaning against the tree.

An Abbotsford business owner is fed up with ongoing issues involving an abandoned mobile home park on Allwood Street, after the third fire this year occurred Wednesday on the property.

Seung Yong Lee runs Master Lee’s Tae Kwon Do School, which is located directly beside the former Allwood Estates Mobile Home Park.

The property is known to house squatters, and crews were called Wednesday afternoon to put out a fire that shot up a tree beside Lee’s business.

Firefighters had to break down the front door to get into the building and hose it down to prevent the fire from spreading.

The blaze was quickly extinguished and Lee is grateful to crews for ensuring that his business did not suffer any fire damage, but he must shut down for a few days while the water damage is repaired.

Lee – and other business owners in the area – have been expressing concerns for months about homeless people setting up camp on the empty property, which is owned by Onni Group and is slated for development.

Lee previously found a bladed weapon – made from a pipe, a handheld microphone and the blades of a food processor – in the parking lot behind his building. He has also seen paint splashed on the back of his building, graffiti stenciled on the wall, and a water tap vandalized.

But his greatest concern is the damage that could be caused by a serious blaze.

“I’m very worried … You don’t need a fortune-teller to see what’s coming,” he said.

Lee said he has tried to contact Onni Group, with suggestions that they hire 24-hour security to patrol the lot, to no avail.

The Abbotsford News has also had no response to email requests to speak with an Onni representative.

Another business owner contacted The News after Wednesday’s fire, saying she, too, is troubled by the situation and says it is a “disaster waiting to happen.”

The woman sent photos taken of a camp set up on the abandoned lot, with three tiki torches leaning against a tree just six feet away from the fence for her business.

“There are three automotive shops right there. Do you understand why we are concerned?” she said.

The property has been vacant since mid-January, after the city received a rezoning and development permit for a 224-unit townhouse complex on the site. A start date for construction is not yet known, as the proposal is still making its way through the application process.

Other fires occurred on the property in February and June, destroying abandoned mobile homes that had not yet been demolished.

Since that time, the remaining structures have been destroyed.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New book details 1893 murder in Abbotsford and 2 trials that followed

Farmer John Marshall was found dead on his Sumas Prairie property

Abbotsford Police Department’s public service counter reopens

Some modified protocols in place for the public due to COVID-19

VIDEO: Abbotsford Time Lapse 2020

YouTube user posts video showing time lapse of several Abbotsford locations

Abbotsford resident receives award from B.C. Historical Federation

Bill Glasgow honoured for work on British Columbia History magazine

VIDEO: #FreeThemAll group protests for prisoner rights in Abbotsford

About 20 participate in car demonstration outside of Matsqui Institution on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Most Read