A fire that destroyed the IGA grocery store in Fort Langley early Tuesday started under suspicious circumstances, police say.
Fire, police, and private investigators scoured the burned-out site for two days, and concluded that an attempted break-in is to blame.
"There was broken glass and severed bars and we do believe some individuals were attempting to break into the IGA," said RCMP Cpl. Holly Marks. "The action of the break and enter is likely what caused the fire."
The discovery angered the owner of the Frontier Building Supplies store, Jim Dyck, whose business is next door to the destroyed grocery outlet.
"My initial reaction is madness that a robbery gone bad could devastate a town like this," said Dyck
Dyck said the IGA was the only grocery store in town and the community is still in shock over the loss.
"This is like a big family here," he said. "I personally feel like one of my family just got crippled ... There's people crying, people very, very hurt by this."
Dyck was able to keep his store operating after the fire.
The IGA was a family-run operation for 35 years and the owners have said they plan to rebuild.