Suspicious fire under Penticton bridge likely started with incendiary device, RCMP

Emergency crews were called to a suspicious fire under the Forestbrook Drive bridge, Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

PENTICTON - An explosion and fire under a bridge in Penticton last night has been deemed suspicious by the Fire Department and is being investigated by the RCMP.

RCMP say officers were dispatched following reports of explosions and the Forestbrook Drive bridge being engulfed in flames at around 9 p.m., April 6.

Witnesses saw several youths fleeing the area, but no suspects were apprehended, according to a RCMP media release.

A partially burned incendiary device was found at the site along with small tins of flammable materials, police say. A second device, which was consumed by fire, may have been the source of several explosions heard by residents in the area.

RCMP have seized evidence and the Explosives Disposal Unit will be investigating the scene.

The bridge is built with treated wood beams and a natural gas line runs under the bridge directly above where the fire was set.

"Although damage was superficial in nature, the potential for damage to city infrastructure and the natural gas line was significant," RCMP Supt. Kevin Hewco says in the media release. "We have dedicated resources assigned to this investigation to ensure the safety of this community."

The RCMP are requesting the public’s assistance in identifying those responsible for this incident. The police would also like to speak with the woman who initially called the fire department with information about the youth seen in the area.

If you have any information that can assist in the investigation contact Cst. Tim Velemirovich of the Penticton RCMP at 250-492-4300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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