A graffiti-covered house on one of the most picturesque points of B.C.’s South Coast, which garnered widespread attention on social media earlier this year, has been destroyed by fire, the West Vancouver Fire Department says.
Assistant Fire Chief Mat Furlot said crews responded to the property at 6689 Nelson Ave. in West Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay just after 11 p.m. PT Thursday to find the home, which was built in 1951, engulfed in flames.
The property on Tyee Point, which has a current assessed value of $5.4 million, gained fame earlier this year on social media when a photo taken from the water near the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal was posted with the caption: “Party house with a view.”
The Vancouver Sun explored the history of the home, which it said has had the same owner for decades, had been rented out, but had most recently been abandoned. It also mentioned discussion of potentially converting the site into a park.
The house is perched on a rocky shorefront, looking out over the water, islands and mountains of Howe Sound. The house is easily seen from aboard ferries arriving and departing from the ferry terminal.
‘Very challenging fire’
Its location, however, made it difficult for firefighters to get equipment to knock down the flames.
“There’s no fire hydrant, there’s no fire truck we can get to the area, so it’s a very challenging fire for the crews,” said Furlot.
The West Vancouver Fire Department requested assistance from Vancouver Fire Rescue Services’ fire boat, which helped spray water on the structure.
. Our @VanFireRescue @IAFF18 fire boat crew has been working hard all night with our colleagues @DWVFirefighters #WestVancouver Fire for an abandoned house on fire in #HorseshoeBay pic.twitter.com/5MroqdIED8
By Friday morning, Furlot said the fire was out, with crews remaining to put out other spot fires.
Furlot said the house has been abandoned for years, but has had squatters living in it at times. He said it doesn’t appear anyone was in the home at the time of the fire, although he suspects the fire was human caused.
“It’s going to be investigated but it would make sense that this is probably human caused,” he said. “There was no lightning last night in the area, so there doesn’t seem [to] be a natural cause.”
Furlot said the fire caused the home to collapse in on itself. Several trees in the area also burned, but there was no threat or damage to any other nearby structures.