Surrey Trailer Park Explosion, Fire Force Evacuation

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SURREY, B.C. - Police were trying to determine what caused an explosion at a Surrey, B.C. trailer park Friday night, demolishing or damaging five units.

Lawrence O'Neill says he was sitting at his kitchen table, showing a friend a video on his computer, when the trailer next door exploded with a "kaboom," shattering his own window, and setting the wall of his home ablaze.

His window blinds began to melt, and the kitten he'd adopted Christmas Eve ran under a smoldering couch, before O'Neill says he grabbed his keys, cellphone and computer and ran out of his trailer, only to see power lines spark, and flames shoot out of an adjacent home.

"It's really devastating. I wish it never happened," said O'Neill.

Nobody was injured, but as many as 15 people have been relocated emergency officials said. Members of an explosives-disposal unit have joined the investigation to try to determine if the explosion and subsequent fire were purposely set.

"We don't know what happened. We don't know if it's a gas leak that caused an explosion or if this was something that was done on purpose to, you know, as part of a get-back-at-somebody," said RCMP Cpl. Dale Carr.

"What I can tell you, as well, is there were two men seen fleeing from the area on foot right at the time of the explosion."

Carr said police want to talk to those individuals.

Police were called to the trailer park just before 8 p.m. after receiving multiple calls of an explosion and fire at the trailer park, said Carr.

When they arrived on scene, police saw trailers "fully engulfed," said Carr.

Karen Fry, deputy chief of the Surrey Fire Service, said four trucks and about 12 firefighters responded to the incident, which burned one trailer to the ground and damaged two others so severely that they will likely have to be replaced,

She said the trailers were about six metres apart and the siding on two others has also been damaged.

Investigators are now going through the burned remains of the trailers to nail down what happened, and will be looking at the victim as much as any potential suspects, said Carr.

"We're not going to discuss what we've located so far as this is an ongoing investigation," he said.

-- by Keven Drews in Vancouver and Darryl Dyck in Surrey

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