Victoria BC – VicPD Detectives are requesting the public’s assistance in solving this summer’s series of suspicious fires.
While already investigating over a dozen fires from an earlier series starting in April, this long weekend, eight more fires were set, all of which are suspicious in nature. Detectives, Patrol, Forensic Identification Section and K9 officers have been scouring the area in a search for clues, but are hoping the public can help with any information as well.
This weekend’s series started at approximately 11 p.m. on Sunday night as a brush fire in the 600-block of Fernhill Road. Thankfully the Esquimalt Fire Department (EFD) was quick on scene and doused the flames before the fire could spread. Officers attended after EFD stated the fire may be suspicious.
Just over two hours later, early Monday morning at approximately 1:30 a.m. VicPD and EFD responded to a structure fire in the 1100-block of Colville Road where a garden shed was destroyed by a fire. EFD was quick on scene and put the fire out before it could spread to any neighbouring structures.
Moments later, at 1:45 a.m. another call of a shed on fire in the 1200-block of Lockley Street was received. Again, the fire was doused by EFD and VicPD Patrol and K9 officers scoured the scene. Residents in the area reported a grey SUV near the fire site and investigators are hoping to identify the car and occupants.
Another grass fire was reported in VicWest, in the area of Wilson and Alston streets just before 3 a.m. This time it was the Victoria Fire Department who arrived and doused the flames as patrol officers searched the area and Forensic Identification Services scoured the scene.
The fifth fire of the night was reported just after 3:30 a.m. in the 2700-block of Prior Street for a fire at a vacant house. VFD and VicPD arrived to find the basement of the house fully engulfed. The fire was eventually put out, but caused extensive damage.
A residence under construction in the 3000-block of Fifth Street was on fire just after 4 a.m. Again, the fire was contained.
In a disturbing turn, a fire was discovered in an occupied residence in the 2900-block of Prior Street by the on-duty road Sergeant as he was searching for the suspect. The occupants had awoken to the sound of their fire alarm and found the steps to the rear porch on fire. The pair quickly used the garden hose to extinguish the fire. VFD was quickly on scene and ensured the fire would not reignite.
The final suspicious fire in this two-day series was at an abandoned, boarded up house in the 600-block of Speed Street. Officers arrived to find a fire engulfing a section of the building. Again, VFD was quick on scene and extinguished the fire.
In total VicPD Detectives are investigating over 30 suspicious fires this year. Detectives cannot confirm that the fires are all related, but are looking at any fire that occurs in the Victoria or Esquimalt area very closely. They are also hoping that members of the public will be able to come forward with information to help them solve this series, specifically the identification of the grey SUV and its occupants that were in the area of the fire in the 1200-block of Lockley Street.
If you have any information about these fires or possible suspects, please call the VicPD non-emergency line at 250-995-7654, or report anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Earlier this year VicPD Detectives and Victoria Fire Department Fire Investigators participated in an ‘Ask Me Anything’ on reddit.com/r/VictoriaBC about the suspicious fires. Many questions were answered there, if you’re interested in a read, check it out here.