Arsonist on the loose

Kelowna RCMP are seeking the public’s help to identify an arson suspect.

The firebug's image was captured on security video moments after he allegedly lit a fire Monday.

About 11 a.m., police received several calls that a man was witnessed starting a fire at the corner of Springfield and Burtch roads. The suspect reportedly fled east along Springfield and cut through a parking lot into an orchard.

The suspect is described as a Caucasian male, about five feet seven inches tall and 180 pounds, with brown hair and a goatee. He was seen wearing a grey hoodie and carrying a stick.

Police believe the nuisance fire may be related to a handful of others during the past couple of weeks:

  • Sept. 14, shortly after 4 a.m., firefighters responded to a stack of wooden pallets on fire behind Mediterranean Market on Gordon Drive. An adjacent duplex was damaged in the fire.
  • Sept. 19, shortly before 3 a.m., RCMP were dispatched to assist the fire department at a pair of dumpster fires in the rear parking lot of a business located on the 1800 block of Baron Road.
  • Sept. 21, just before noon, police received a report of an apparent overnight arson outside a business on the 1500 block of Banks Road. 
  • Sept. 21, a small amount of debris was lit on fire on the sidewalk in front of a business on the 2300 block of Highway 97. The fire was extinguished by a passer-by.

"The Kelowna RCMP General Investigations Section is working very closely with the Kelowna Fire Department to ensure all fires of a similar nature are linked when possible and fully investigated collaboratively between both agencies,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

Anyone with any information on any of these fires is asked to call Const. Kevin Hamilton at 250-470-6302 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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