Abbotsford Police say Maan Farms fire is arson


 ABBOTSFORD Fire Rescue Service (AFRS) and the Abbotsford Police Department’s Major Crime Unit announced on Wednesday that through their investigation conducted at scene, they now consider Monday’s fire at Maan Farms arson.

The Abbotsford Police Department’s Major Crime Unit is appealing to any individuals who may have witnessed any suspicious activity near the property on or near Monday, July 14, or anyone with information about this fire to call the APD at 604-859-5225 or text them at 222973 (abbypd) or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Maan Farms, a popular tourist attraction in Abbotsford, suffered serious damage in an early morning fire on Monday as flames shooting 29 metres high engulfed a building that included the winery, offices and the main store.

On Tuesday, Abbotsford Police called it a suspicious fire and said that their Major Crime Unit was working in partnership with the AFRS fire investigators to determine the cause of the fire.

A posting on the Maan Farms’ Facebook on Wednesday read: “It was a devastating day at Maan Farms as we saw our beautiful facility engulfed in flames. But we stay strong and move forward.”

On Tuesday, the Maans wrote: “We want to thank you for all your support during this difficult time, we are so touched by all your thoughtful messages you have sent us. Although the damage is substantial, we are working really hard to move forward.

“Our fields are still fully stocked with delicious berries therefore U-Pick will open tomorrow …

“We would hate to see this delicious crop lost in addition to everything else. We invite you all to bring your families and enjoy these delicious berries!”

Maan Farms has a raft of tourist attractions such as their U-Pick program, a country kitchen, a free kids play area and petting zoo and fall attractions such as their pumpkin patch, Jack-O-Lantern contests, scarecrow row, flashlight maze, Wizard of Oz-inspired children’s maze and a haunted maze.

According to their website: “Started in 1977 by Jawahar and Gurbachan (Grandpa and Grandma) Maan with the help of their three children, Maan Farms began by producing cole crops, but soon shifted to growing the delicious strawberries, raspberries and blueberries for which they became famous.

“In 1982, the Maans opened their first roadside stand on their farm at 1136 McKenzie Road. This small stand soon grew in popularity, thanks to the help and support of the local community and the faithful customers who fell in love with the farm’s welcoming atmosphere and mouth-watering strawberries.

“Maan FamilyToday, Grandpa and Grandma Maan are retired, but their son Kris and his wife Devinder continue the proud tradition of Maan Farms, helped by their own children, Preena, Gurleen, Gaurav and Amir. Many things have changed since the farm opened almost 35 years ago. From one small berry stand, Maan Farms has grown into a place with something for everyone.”

Photo: Facebook