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The woman, Ashley (who asked that her last name not be published), wrote on Facebook that the family was woken up by a “huge smash” on their patio, and they thought someone was breaking in.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

Piano set up in Penticton downtown

Initiative an effort to bring music and creativity to the streets

Invasive mussel monitoring stations detect 10 boats

Boats were headed to Okanagan and Thompson regions

Elderly man who offered candy to Penticton children, doesn’t pose threat: RCMP

The man was reportedly seen at the Columbus Park Property attempting to lure children with candy

COVID-19 outbreak at Okanagan Correctional Centre, involves 3 staff

Three staff involved in possible exposure, health officials say

Summerland mayor asks for community conversation on racism

Incidents in July prompt calls for dialogue

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Man who drove into music festival crowd sentenced to 14 months in jail

Several people seriously hurt during event held near Princeton

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Vandals put Vernon public piano out of play

Downtown instrument destroyed, but public project is not over

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Salmon Arm’s first Bitcoin ATM installed in mall

The kiosk will allow people to buy cryptocurrency or sell it for cash.

Westside wildfire human caused

Blaze started as a house fire and spread to the bush

Surrey man found guilty in West Kelowna killing of common-law spouse

Tejwant Danjou was convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu in West Kelowna

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Most Read