'No rhyme or reason to it': North Okanagan man uneasy after arson fire - InfoNews

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'No rhyme or reason to it': North Okanagan man uneasy after arson fire

Bob Lebarron looks over the damage caused by a suspicious fire early this morning, March 9, 2018 on Warner Avenue in Armstrong.
March 09, 2018 - 2:00 PM

ARMSTRONG - Armstrong resident Bob Lebarron knows he’s lucky.

The Warner Avenue homeowner breaks down into tears as he recounts waking up around 2 a.m. this morning, giving him just enough time to find and extinguish a fire that had started on his garage door. What made him suddenly wake up and get out of bed? He doesn’t know.

“Sheer luck, absolutely,” he says.

Once up, he noticed light coming from beneath the door that led into the attached garage.

“So I opened the door and the place was full of smoke,” he says.

Panicking, Lebarron emptied out a bucket and filled it with water. He used that to douse the flames creeping up the garage door and finished the job with a fire extinguisher.

“Then the fire trucks started coming by and I thought ‘I haven’t made a phone call yet’ you know, so where are they going?” Lebarron says.

Fire investigators photograph evidence at one of the houses targeted in the early morning hours of March 9, 2018.
Fire investigators photograph evidence at one of the houses targeted in the early morning hours of March 9, 2018.

Unbeknownst to him, a home just down the street was also on fire. The day before, around 2 a.m. on March 8, emergency crews responded to another blaze on Warner Avenue. Police say all three fires (two of which were at the same house) are suspicious and consider them arson.

“There’s no rhyme or reason,” Lebarron says. “This is a very quiet neighbourhood.”

He’s lived here with his wife since 2006 and says nothing like this has ever happened before. He’s unaware of any neighbourhood quarrels or disagreements that might lead someone to do this.

Lebarron is uneasy about things and says he’ll probably have trouble sleeping tonight.

“When you become the victim it’s like… could it happen again?” he says.

Fire officials are at the scene today, photographing evidence. RCMP spokesperson Const. Kelly Brett says it’s extremely fortunate no one has been injured and is urging anyone with information to contact police.

If you have any information about any of these fires or who may be responsible, contact the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP at 250-545-7171. You can also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or leaving a tip online. You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers and if you provide information that leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2018
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