Investigators from the Saanich Police Departent and the Saanich Fire Department are looking for clues into two separate fires to a playground structure at Copley Park East, just off Vanalman Avenue, in Saanich.
“Both fires appear to have been deliberately set” said Sgt. Steve Eassie. “Investigators are reviewing forensic evidence seized from that location as part of the ongoing investigation”.
The first of the two fires, which appear to be likely related, was reported in the late evening hours of Saturday, June 27. At approximately 11:00 p.m., police and fire crews responded to the playground equipment and located a small fire that had caused some damage.
The second, was reported at about 2:50 a.m., on Wednesday morning, July 1st. The second fire resulted in the total loss of all of the playground equipment at the park.
“The first incident appeared to have one fire set point, whereas the second fire appeared to have multiple set points, resulting in a much greater destruction of the equipment.” Sgt. Eassie said.
Although official totals for damage are not yet known, the damage is estimated between $35,000 and $40,000.
“The tinder dry conditions, and the relatively close proximity of nearby residence and business district, we are thankful that Saanich Fire crews were able to control the fire scene and prevent it from spreading”, Sgt. Eassie said.
Anyone that may have information about these incidents are asked to contact the Saanich Police Department at 250-475-4321 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).