02/07/2014 09:39 EST | Updated 04/09/2014 05:59 EDT

Arson charge to be laid in West Vancouver house fire

A 59-year-old West Vancouver woman is facing charges in the wake of a deliberately set house fire in West Vancouver in December, the third time the house had caught fire in as many years.

Const. Jeff Palmer says a charge of arson and damage to property has been recommended, but the suspect's name will not be released until she is formally charged.

Palmer says the house was vacant at the time, but the Dec. 27 blaze was very dangerous. The 4,000-square-foot home in the 2600 block of Chelsea Close was already completely engulfed in flames when the first fire truck arrived shortly after 1:30 a.m. PT.

"In this circumstance [it] turned into a very large fire, difficult for West Van Fire and Rescue firefighters to contend with — certainly a risk to surrounding houses," said Palmer.

At the time of the fire officials said they did not think it was suspicious, but the house had been involved in two fire incidents before, once in June 2013 and in September 2012.

"The fact that it was not a random offense provides some comfort for surrounding neighbors," said Palmer on Thursday.

The woman was released on a promise to appear in court Feb. 26. She has to surrender her passport to the court and remain in this country pending further court appearances.