02/20/2013 11:59 EST | Updated 04/22/2013 05:12 EDT

Two suspicious fires, metres apart, damage East Vancouver properties overnight

VANCOUVER - Two suspicious fires, within metres of each other, kept Vancouver firefighters busy overnight.

Crews were called to a garage fire (in the 2900 block of East 41 Avenue) at about 12:45 Wednesday morning and quickly doused the flames, which had caused little damage.

Roughly three hours later, crews returned to the same East Vancouver lane, directly across from the first blaze, to find fire engulfing the enclosed rear deck of a house (in the 5600 block of Rupert Street.)

By the time it was out, the deck and siding were extensively damaged, the house next door was scorched and the interior of the first home had smoke damage, forcing six people out.

Fire and police investigators remain at the scene, trying to identify suspects and determine how the blazes were set.

No one was hurt in either incident, but officials are urging everyone to check smoke alarms and plan escape routes, in light of several fatal fires around British Columbia over the last week.