ARSON – Police and KFR investigating new fires on South and North Shores
Five fires on the South Shore last night and another on the North Shore this morning are being treated as suspicious by Kamloops police and firefighters.
Monday (May 15, 2023) around 10:45 p.m., Kamloops Fire Rescue attended the alleyway behind the 400-block of Lansdowne Street for the first fire, which appeared to be deliberately set in a garbage dumpster.
An hour later, four more weren’t reported and extinguished in alleyways behind Victoria Street.
Today (May 16, 2023) at about 7:50 a.m., police were called to the 700-block of Sydney Avenue after a man was reported lighting grass on fire. Described as Caucasian, about 5 ft. 8 inches tall and wearing a white muscle shirt and white pants, he fled before police got there.
It’s not known if the latest fires are connected to others that have been set recently.
“The timing and proximity of multiple dumpster fires last night is definitely suspicious and not believed to be an individual or random event,” said RCMP Cpl. Crystal Evelyn.
“Along with our frontline officers, the General Investigations Support team is also assisting fire investigators in attempting to identify a suspect and address this very serious safety concern.”
One of the fires set in the alley last night was extremely close to spreading to a building, which could have caused serious property damage and created safety risks to those in the area, according to KFR Duty Chief Scott Karpiak.
“We realize space is at a premium but believe that creating some distance between a dumpster and a building can be effective in helping to prevent fire spread through radiant heat or direct flame impingement.”
Police and fire officials continue their appeal to the public for witnesses and video that could help identify a suspect.
“If you haven’t already, please take a look at any security footage you may have to see if it captured anything that could be of assistance,” Cpl. Evelyn said.
From a preventive standpoint, she encouraged residents to report suspicious vehicles or occurences to police. If someone is not sure if something is suspicious, they can always take notes that capture descriptions, licence plates and dates and times so that the information is readily available if something happens, she said.
Anyone with information is asked to please contact Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000. Anyone looking for information on fire safety can contact KFR at 250-372-5131.
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