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UPDATE: Man charged in connection with Maple Ridge blaze

Nearby residents watch Maple Ridge firefighters battle a blaze on River Road Sunday evening. - Ron Paley/Special to The TIMES
Nearby residents watch Maple Ridge firefighters battle a blaze on River Road Sunday evening.
— image credit: Ron Paley/Special to The TIMES

A man has been arrested and charged in connection with a recent house fire on River Road.

Jacob James Michael Jones, 31, has been charged with break and enter, arson, and possessing stolen property, following a house fire Sunday night (Aug. 14).

At about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Maple Ridge fire crews and Ridge Meadows RCMP were on scene of a three-storey home up in flames, between Steeves Street and Best Street off River Road.

Ridge Meadows RCMP Const. M Stus said the homeowners were not home when the fire broke out.

A nearby resident, Ron Paley, told The TIMES the fire started in the basement, and "engulfed the entire house."

Before the fire got too big, neighbours managed to save the homeowner's sports car from the flames, as well as a few propane tanks.

Fire crews battled the blaze for hours, and at about 10 p.m., spot fires were still springing up, Paley added.

The fire caused extensive damage to the home before being extinguished, with both police and fire fighters noting some suspicious circumstances in and around the residence.

On Monday morning, police and fire investigators returned to the house and began a "thorough investigation" into the origin of the fire, Ridge Meadows Corp. Brenda Winpenny said.

Jones was later arrested, and appeared in court on Wednesday, Aug. 17.  He has been remanded in custody to await his next appearance.

The investigation is continuing.

“This file fully illustrates how working together can help a file progress quickly," Winpenny said.

Photos submitted by Ron Paley:

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