September 26, 2015 - 10:30 AM
WEST KELOWNA – A controversial lot in a Westbank mobile home park was likely the target of an arsonist last weekend.
Unit 144 at Jubilee Mobile Home Park on Boucherie Road was the subject of much media scrutiny after owners evicted the long-time residences, saying they planned to use the large garage as a workshop.
Now it appears someone broke into the shop and tried to start it on fire.
West Kelowna Fire Rescue chief Jason Brolund says neighbours had extinguished the fire by the time crews got there Sunday, Sept. 20 just after 9:30 p.m.
“It was a small fire in a shed-type structure,” he says. “It looked as though some material had been poured around the area… so we turned it over to the RCMP.”
Infonews.ca reporter John McDonald was prevented by park staff from taking pictures of the damage but says a door appears to be broken and there is smoke damage on the back of the building.
The manufactured home, where tenants Ross Arnot and Ed Schneider lived since 2007, is on a large lot with a private dock and extensive landscaping.
In January 2014 they received notification from park management the garage they had been using was being reclaimed as a maintenance facility. The couple thought their rental agreement included the garage and fought the decision. They then found out the agreement included only the garage door opener.
Schneider and Arnot moved out April 1, saying the eviction cost them their life savings.
Neighbour Juanita Chapman was one of the first tenants to see the smoke and her husband used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. She doesn't know who started it but she knows who didn't.
"It wasn't Ross and Ed," she says. "They were in Penticton and they're not evil. We saw a couple kids walking around at that time within minutes of us coming home but I don't know who did it. The more the park managers piss people off the more this is going to happen. What goes around comes around."
Calls to the RCMP and the mobile home park's owner Princess Enterprises were not returned.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015