Police are currently investigating at least eight “relatively small” fires that have been intentionally set at an elementary school in Nanaimo.
The series of fires have all been sparked at Brechin Elementary school since the beginning of April, and have forced the school to increase security on the school grounds after hours.
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The largest of the eight fires were started in the school’s basement and activated the building’s fire alarms and water sprinklers, which prompted a full evacuation.
When firefighters arrived on site, they found the basement filled with smoke and quickly knocked out the flames. The damage from the fire, smoke, and water totalled approximately $5000.
In the past two weeks, seven other fires have been started, but have all self extinguished. The incidents generally involved lighting pieces of paper and cloth on fire. Only one of these fires was sparked inside the school, and involved a wad of toilet paper being set on fire.
Police say no damage has been caused by any of these seven fires.
“These fires are very troubling and have resulted in the school having to put extra security in place to patrol the school and grounds after hours,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP in a statement.
An investigation into the cause of the fires is being conducted by the Nanaimo RCMP School Liaison Unit, City of Nanaimo Fire and Rescue, and School District 68 officials.
No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information on the fires is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2019-11585. Alternatively, people may report anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.