A fire at a Surrey home that was legally growing medical marijuana has claimed two lives.
Firefighters were called to a home at 9488 163rd Street on Monday morning at around 7 a.m.
There, they found a working fire producing heavy smoke, according to Surrey assistant fire chief Jason Cairney.
WATCH: Surrey fire chief voices concerns over marijuana grow ops
At least four people were home when flames broke out. One person was able to leave the building without assistance, and firefighters managed to rescue another occupant from the second floor balcony.
Both were treated at hospital for minor injuries, Cairney said.
“It was a complicated incident; crews arrived to heavy smoke conditions and a person who needed to be rescued from a balcony, and once that rescue was affected, they were informed that there were still occupants inside the residence,” he said.
Crews discovered the missing two occupants in the house’s basement after a search.
Both died despite paramedics’ efforts to resuscitate them — one at the scene, the other in hospital.
Surrey RCMP and fire investigators looked into the fire incident and determined that it was not suspicious, Cairney said.
Investigators believe the fire was sparked by electrical equipment used to grow licensed medical marijuana.
Firefighters say it is too early to say whether the occupants were following proper protocols with the equipment.
Surrey fire chief Len Garis raised concerns about the safety of such operations in 2016, after the Federal Court of Canada struck down legislation limiting home medical marijuana growers.
Garis said every one had problems ranging from dangerous wiring to mould to unsafe mechanical modification, based on expert inspections of 294 licensed Surrey homes at the time.