Second suspicious fire in four days worries Vernon Fire Department

Vernon Fire Department

VERNON - Authorities are investigating a second suspicious fire in four days.

Firefighters fought a fully engulfed metal recycling bin blaze at the Interior Freight and Bottle Depot on 24 Avenue at around 9:30 p.m. Monday, deputy fire chief Lawrie Skolrood says. Crews managed to suppress the fire, which was called in by a resident in the area. The Fire Department isn’t sure how it started, but has labelled it suspicious.

“It’s always a concern when people are out setting fires, whether it’s mischief or there’s some intent for whatever reason,” Skolrood says. “It does cause threat to life as well as damage to property.”

The recycling bin fire comes mere days after a suspicious fire at a construction site on 41 Avenue. Investigators believe a three-storey building in the framing stage of construction was deliberately set on fire. Two witnesses were found on the property, one of them injured from jumping off the building when it started to burn. Police are seeking information from the public to aid the investigation.

There were over 20 suspected arsons in Vernon from May to August 2014. Police arrested a pair of men in connection to an arson outside AJ’s Pets and Things, but were unable to catch the suspect, or suspects, responsible for the other fires.

“We haven’t connected it (recycling bin and construction site fires) to anything in the summer yet. We’re definitely exploring that possibility but we can’t say they’re necessarily connected,” Skolrood says.

Police and the fire department continue to investigate the cause of the fires and whether they are connected to the previous rash of suspected arsons.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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