Two more suspicious fires over the weekend in Vernon brings the arson list to 14, as RCMP scramble to find the person or persons behind the ongoing arsons.
On Saturday night just before midnight, RCMP were called to a report of a fire in an abandoned house in the 3800 block of 30th Avenue.
“The rear of the building was totally engulfed when the fire department arrived,” explained RCMP spokesman Gord Molendyk. “There was nobody in or around the house at the time and our officers are still following up.”
The following evening, Sunday night, officers were called to a boat fire on Pleasant Valley Road.
“The boat was totally engulfed when the fire department arrived. The approximately 22-foot long boat was completely destroyed as a result of the fire,” said Molendyk.
This boat was located in a boat storage facility called Corix Water Products in the 7000 block of Pleasant Valley Road.
Just like the boat fire last week near Armstrong the culprit would have had to climb over, under or cut through the fence to get to the boat.
Also similar to the Armstrong fire, there was minor heat damage to another larger boat that was parked next to the flaming craft.
The alleged arsonist or arsonists have now been plaguing the North Okanagan for well over a month. Originally one dedicated officer was assigned to the half a dozen arson files, but now that the files are reaching 15, Molendyk says more officers have been added to the investigation.
“We have reallocated some resources to these files . . . we now have half a dozen officers working full time on this particular file. We want to a put a stop to this before something serious happens, we are scrambling trying to bring these files to a conclusion for sure.”
As to whether all 14 files are linked Molendyk says they still cannot say.
“We get fires in the south, we get fires in the north, we are not 100 per cent sure if they are linked or if they are different.”
If you have information about these fires call the Vernon RCMP (250) 545-7171, the Vernon Fire Department (250) 542-5361 or Crime Stoppers.
Below is a map of all of the suspicious fire locations in the North Okanagan.