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Surrey homeowner sues neighbour after Halloween fireworks cause damage

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A Surrey homeowner who says his house was damaged by fire caused by a neighbour’s fireworks display on Halloween is suing the neighbour for damages.

Damandeep Grewal filed the lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court against neighbours Malkit Singh Hothi, Jasvir Kaur Hothi, Sonu Hothi and guest John Doe #1 after they shot off fireworks on Oct. 31, 2021, at their home on 134th Street, across a cul de sac from Grewal’s house.

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“Some of the lit fireworks remnants landed on (Grewal’s) property, causing a fire,” the claim said.

The claim said his neighbours were negligent because they discharged the fireworks in a hazardous and improper manner, didn’t have a valid permit as required by Surrey bylaws, sent up the fireworks in an area that was too close to neighbouring properties, failed to have any fire safety precautions or to take any steps to extinguish the fireworks, and allowed their guest, John Doe, to discharge the fireworks in an unsafe manner.

“As a result of the fire, (Grewal’s) property experienced significant fire, smoke and water damage,” and the family couldn’t live in the house during repairs, the claim said.

Grewal is seeking damages for the cost of the repairs, replacement of contents, and alternative living expenses.

The Hothis have not filed a response to the claim and none of the allegations have been proven in court.

Neither party returned a request for comment.

Surrey allows firework displays by those who have been granted a permit from the fire department.

Permit holders need a valid fireworks operator card from Natural Resources Canada for each person who will purchase, handle, or discharge fireworks and, among other things, written permission to conduct a fireworks display from the property owner and the “owner of the neighbouring land on which fireworks debris might reasonably be expected to fall,” according to the Surrey city website.

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