Fire destroys historic house at Hilltop Gardens near Spences Bridge

Spences Bridge firefighters responded to the blaze, but were unable to save the house

A historic house at Hilltop Gardens north of Spences Bridge was completely destroyed by fire in the early morning hours of April 26.

Spences Bridge firefighters responded to the blaze, but were unable to save the house. Three vehicles and some outbuildings were also destroyed.

The house was not occupied at the time of the fire.

Spences Bridge resident Steve Rice, whose brother Mike currently owns the property, lived in the house for several years. He and his wife Paulet raised their children there, and Rice was visibly upset when he heard about the loss.

“It’s heartbreaking to lose these little pieces of history that can never be replaced,” he said. “All we have left are memories in a pile of ash. “

The house, built by Pierre Morens in the late 19th century, was one of the oldest buildings in the Southern Interior and a landmark on the Cariboo Road and its successor, the Trans-Canada Highway.

Pioneering anthropologist James Teit also had a connection with the house and the family that built it: in 1904 he married Pierre Morens’s daughter Leonie.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

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