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East Vancouver fires under investigation

VANCOUVER – A close call for a couple of families in East Vancouver after two suspicious fires broke out early this morning.

Fire crews were called to East 41st and Rupert Street, just blocks away from where fire destroyed two garages last month.

Vancouver Fire Battalion Chief Terry Nikolai says at this point, they aren’t concerned about a possible fire bug. “Both of them are very suspicious and they’re both under investigation.”

They aren’t linking them, at this point, to last month’s fires at Knight and 41st.

At around 12:30 a.m. a garage started on fire and then almost three hours later, a house across the alley started to burn.

Damage to the first home is being described as ‘moderate.’ The second home suffered extensive damage to the deck and siding. Because of smoke damage inside, six people have been forced out.

Luckily, police were still on scene.

“They did a fantastic job of alerting the residents and getting them out. The whole house was affected and the house next door. If the police hadn’t have been here and gotten them out this could have been disastrous,” says Nikolai.

The owner of the house believes this is a case of arson, but has no idea why someone would set fire to the property.