Firefighters extinguish a fire in a barbecue of a second-storey apartment patio on Ware Street in Abbotsford on Sunday morning.

Stranger climbs onto second-storey patio and lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old child

An Abbotsford family had a harrowing experience on Sunday morning, when a stranger climbed onto their second-storey apartment balcony and set a fire.

The incident took place in the 2600 block of Ware Street at the residence of a couple and their two-year-old son.

The woman, Ashley (who asked that her last name not be published), wrote on Facebook that the family were awakened by a “huge smash” on their patio, and they thought someone was breaking into their home.

The first thing they noticed when they rushed toward their patio was that the living room window was smashed and a man was “babbling and yelling, not making sense, acting wild.”

They then noticed that their barbecue was on fire, with flames so high they were touching the ceiling. The blaze caused the glass panels on their patio to explode.

They grabbed a huge jug from their water cooler and dumped it on the flames.

Meanwhile, the stranger – still screaming and babbling – had jumped onto their neighbours’ patio.

An off-duty police officer was driving by on his way to work and called in the fire, resulting in Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service quickly arriving on scene and extinguishing the blaze.

Then, the couple was able to survey the damage.

“Blood and glass all over my couch and my son’s elephant teddy. Our window is smashed out. The patio is a huge mess. My treasured wooden table is taken apart and smashed into pieces. There’s water and glass everywhere in our house,” Ashley wrote.

She said police also arrived at scene and had to knock down their neighbours’ door to get the man off the patio before arresting him.

Ashley said she then learned that the stranger had apparently used her vintage wooden table on the patio to light the fire in their brand-new barbecue with the intent of “cooking” drugs.

MICHAEL RODDEN

She said several of her son’s toys and their Christmas lights were also tossed onto the fire.

She said the incident makes her “absolutely sick.”

“Apparently, we aren’t safe in our homes anymore, even on second-floor ‘secure’ buildings … I’m just thankful my son is OK and the fire didn’t spread into our house thanks to the Abby fire team,” Ashley wrote.

Michael Rodden, 32, has now been charged with arson and mischief in relation to the incident, and currently remains in custody.

According to the provincial court database, Rodden has numerous past convictions for offences such as possession of stolen property, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, uttering threats, stealing vehicles, break-and-enter, robbery, unlawful confinement, possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, possession of child pornography, mischief, and breaching his bail and probation conditions.

The convictions date back to 2006 and most of them occurred in Abbotsford.

Rodden was the subject of a police notice in July 2017, when he was wanted by the Mission RCMP on three warrants. He was arrested the following month.

A GoFundMe page has been started for Ashley and her family to help them cover the expense of replacing their damaged barbecue, patio furniture and son’s toys, as they did not have condo insurance. (Their strata is covering the damage done to the windows and deck.)

The page can be found here.

RELATED: Mission RCMP take suspect into custody

 

This is the aftermath of a fire that was set on a second-storey apartment patio on Ware Street in Abbotsford on Sunday morning. A number of items were also destroyed, including a vintage table, and the glass panels were shattered from the fire.

Just Posted

Got that festive feeling? Here are some things to do in Abbotsford

Plenty of holiday fun still left leading up to Christmas

Fraser Valley Auto Mall concludes annual food drive with convoy

Event on Saturday, Dec. 14 delivers items collected over last few weeks

Finals set for Abby PD City Basketball Tournament

Championship Saturday ready to tip off at Columbia Bible College

Planning price tag revealed for futuristic ‘We Town’ concept in Abbotsford

Developer says highrises would house 30,000, but Abbotsford mayor says project is in wrong place

LETTER: Covered site or an unused building to serve food, water and other items needed for homeless

Suitable Abbotsford site gives individuals hope and allows them to receive help with dignity

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Trudeau sets 2025 deadline to remove B.C. fish farms

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Man accused of child sex crimes out on bail: Delta police

Gurchetan Singh Samra, 69, must stay away from — and not communicate with — anyone under 16 years old

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Most Read