West Shore RCMP have arrested and charged a man for a suspicious fire that blazed through two mobile homes last Tuesday.
The suspect, 49-year-old Gary Lee Nelms, was arrested on Friday and held in custody as police investigated further.
The home where the fire began was Nelms common-law partner. She was awoken by her fire alarm and escaped through the kitchen window.
Today, Nelms was charged with uttering threats and arson with disregard for human life in his court appearance at Colwood Provincial Court.
On October 23rd, emergency crews were called to the 1500 block of Middle Road, in the Songhees Reserve near View Royal.
Before being put out, the fire consumed one trailer, and severely damaged another. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and people reported seeing residents jump from their home windows to escape the flames.
“West Shore RCMP serious crime unit are leading this arson investigation,” said Cpl. Chris Dovell of the West Shore RCMP in a news release.
“Fortunately, there was no loss of life resulting from this devastating fire. I can report a smoke alarm alerted the victim who was able to escape the fire through a window. We continue to seek additional information from witnesses about this crime and encourage anyone with information to come forward, says Cpl. Chris Dovell of the West Shore RCMP.
A GoFundMe campaign has raised nearly $17,000 for Sheila Bridger, a grandmother who lost everything after her neighbour’s mobile home was engulfed in flames and quickly spread to her unit.
According to her sister Sylvia York, Sheila has raised her twin grandsons, (one with Congenital Heart Disease who has had 3 open heart surgeries), and is the prime caregiver to her terminally ill husband, Bill who in 2014, underwent a quad triple heart bypass, suffering a stroke, which left him legally blind.
Anyone with information relating to this fire is asked to contact the West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.