An investigation into Tuesday night’s fire at the under-demolition Little Mountain social housing complex has determined that the blaze was deliberately set, said Vancouver Fire Department Capt. Gabe Roder.

“It’s a non-accidental fire,” he said, adding that the building’s extensive damage makes it difficult for investigators to identify how the fire was started.

The property is being torn down to make way for a redevelopment project that will see Little Mountain replaced with a mix of condos and social housing — something that could take up to 10 years to complete and has caused a group of protesters to camp on the site.

When crews arrived on scene, the building — which has been vacant for months — was already fully engulfed. The blaze spread quickly as walls had been stripped of drywall and insulation in preparation for demolition.

The electrical wiring had also been removed, indicating to investigators that the fire was deliberate, Roder said.

Demolition on Little Mountain, which was built in 1954 and once housed some 700 people, began last week.

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