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Suspicious fires list grows

Three more recent fires in the North Okanagan have police and fire on high alert. They add to the growing list of suspicious fires.

On Thursday May 22 a pile of burning pallets in the 4600 block of 34th Street was set ablaze just after 10 p.m.

Then on Saturday, firefighters were called to a motorhome fire in the 3600 block of 26th Avenue just after 11 p.m. and then just over an hour later they were called out again for a fire started near a car at the Kia Dealership on Pleasant Valley Road at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

RCMP spokesman Gord Molendyk says police now have at least nine suspicious fire files that are keeping them busy, but they have not found the person or persons responsible yet.

“We are following up on them; we have correlated them all together and have one officer focused on all those suspected arson fires,” says Molendyk.

He says at this time investigators are trying to determine whether all the fires are connected or whether there is some copycat activity because of recent media coverage.

“We are trying to piece it all together and work on patterns etc. to see if it is the same person.”

The nine recent fires include dumpster fires, a vacant business, two vacant building fires, a boat fire, a port-a-potty and now the motorhome, car and burning pallets.

“The big concern for us is the time that is utilized for emergency personal, the fire department and police investigating these and the escalation. Sooner or later we are afraid that somebody is going to get hurt and that is our main concern,” said Molendyk.

North Okanagan RCMP are asking witnesses to come forward.

“If they see suspicious activity in and around a building, see people where they normally wouldn’t be, like behind a building in the middle of the night or if there is a fire starting and you see someone running away, call so we have a description, all of those would be very helpful.”

The townhouse fire at Mt Revelstoke Place on Middleton Mountain is not considered suspicious and is not being added to the investigation.

If you have information about these fires call the Vernon RCMP (250) 545-7171, the Vernon Fire Department (250) 542-5361 or Crime Stoppers.


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