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

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

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

An Abbotsford family is recovering from a harrowing experience, when a stranger climbed onto their second-storey apartment balcony and set a fire.

It happened on Sunday morning in the 2600 block of Ware Street at the home 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The woman, Ashley (who asked that her last name not be published), wrote on Facebook that the family was woken up by a “huge smash” on their patio, and they thought someone was breaking in.

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 their new barbecue was on fire, with flames so high they touched 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 the fire department.

READ MORE: Woman found dead after Abbotsford apartment fire

Once the fire was out, 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.

Police also arrived and had to knock down the neighbours’ door to get the man off the patio and arrest him.

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

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

MICHAEL RODDEN

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 been charged with arson and mischief in relation to the incident, and remains in custody.

According to the provincial court database, Rodden has numerous convictions for offences such as possession of stolen property, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, uttering threats, stealing vehicles, break-and-enter, unlawful confinement, possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of child pornography. The convictions date back to 2006 and almost all of them occurred in Abbotsford.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

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

Wet’suwet’en checkpoint material remains alongside forest service road

Checkpoint featured in Coastal GasLink pipeline protests

Burns Lake local captures cycle of life

Burns Lake Brian Mailloux captured a photo of this Golden Eagle with… Continue reading

LDAC features Tweedsmuir Fiddlers and Thea Neumann at Burns Lake Community Market

The Tweedsmuir Fiddlers entertained shoppers with their performance two weeks back during… Continue reading

CNC Lakes District Campus in Burns Lake lays off Academic Upgrading faculty

Introduces two new credentialed programs for Fall 2020

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Funding to support early reclamation work at acid leaking B.C. mine

B.C. Government committing up to $1.575 million for Tulsequah Chief Mine site

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read