Arsonist in cuffs

Chantelle Deacon

UPDATED: 1:57 p.m.

"You would think in a nice quiet little town like this, this sort of thing would never happen," says a concerned Armstrong resident.

The community of Armstrong is relieved knowing that a person has been arrested in connection with a string of deliberately set fires — according to Vernon RCMP, three of which occurred late Monday night.

Brianna Ching had her porch set on fire.

"They [police] have somebody in custody and they found enough evidence but they couldn't really tell us much."

"They just wanted to put us at ease that somebody was caught."

Last week fire crews responded to three suspicious fires over the course of two days.

Last night more fires were set along Okanagan Street.

"We heard a couple little footsteps on the porch but we didn't really think much of it," Ching said. "Probably 10 minutes afterwards we hear people pounding on our door all panicked."

The incidents occurred at about 9 p.m.

Ling is thankful her house is still standing.

"It was actually people who were driving by and they just saw the fire and they didn't see how it started or anything. They acted really fast,  we were really thankful that they were already putting out the fire with the snow."

The old, heritage-looking-home sustained minor damage but Ching says it could have gone up in flames if it wasn't for the people passing by.

A 60-year-old woman is in custody facing potential arson charges.  

ORIGINAL: 11:15 a.m.

Police have arrested a woman in connection with a string of suspicious fires in Armstrong.

Last week fire crews responded to three fires in two nights, all along Warner Ave. 

RCMP believed the fires were deliberately set, and began an investigation.

Last night more fires were set in Armstrong, this time along Okanagan Street.

Police found a set of tires that had been lit on fire beside a garage at one home and a back deck at another home located down the street. 

Both fires were put out before any extensive damage could occur. 

Police learned of another fire, on the same block where the suspect attempted to light two cars on fire and fled the area. 

Police say a witness saw a suspicious person in the area and was able to give RCMP a detailed description of the suspect and vehicle details.

"Officers quickly attended to the area and were able to locate and arrest the suspect thanks to the keen eye-witness observations made," says RCMP Const. Kelly Brett. 

Between March 8 and March 12, 2018, six suspicious fires have been set in the Armstrong area, all with varying levels of damage. 

No one was injured as a result of any of the fires. 

"The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP major crime unit and the Forensic Identification Section are currently engaged in all six investigations," stated Brett. "Although an arrest has been made, the investigation is in the early stages. The fires are believed to be incendiary in nature and are therefore being treated as arson." 

A 60-year-old Armstrong woman remains in custody and is facing possible charges of arson in relation to the recent fires. 

If you have any information about any of these fires and have not yet spoken to police, please contact the Armstrong RCMP at 250-546-3028. Or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or leaving a tip online at www.nokscrimestoppers.com. You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers. If you provide information that leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

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