An arson has destroyed the OK Tire store at 33210 South Fraser Way in Abbotsford.
Crews from Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service were called to the scene at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday.
The store was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived, with the fire shooting through the roof of the building. Crews successfully prevented the blaze from spreading.
There were 40 firefighters on scene to battle the blaze.
“Crews did a tremendous job saving the adjacent building and limiting the fire to the building of origin,” said assistant fire chief Craig Leighton.
The fire was stubborn and difficult to extinguish as dozens of tires stored on the building’s second floor burned.
A witness reported seeing a thin man in dark clothing and a hoodie flee the scene eastbound, according an Abbotsford Police release. Police are canvassing the area for witnesses and surveillance footage.
“Major crime unit investigators are working with the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service to determine the cause of the arson,” the release says.
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact police at (604) 859-5225, text 222973 (abbypd) or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
The shop’s assistant manager, Robert Friesen, said he was heartbroken too see it go up in flames.
He said he works there five days a week and even goes in on his days off.
“I spend more time here than I do at home or anywhere else and that includes sleeping,” he said.
He said he doesn’t know why someone might want to burn down the shop.
“I’m not sure what to think at the moment,” he said.
Ware Street is closed between South Fraser Way and Mill Lake Road until further notice.
Update – Road Closure (10.15am). Ware St will be temporarily closed between SFW and Mill Lake Rd. We will keep you updated.
— Abbotsford Police (@AbbyPoliceDept) June 17, 2017