Nanaimo RCMP have reported that in the past three months, over 20 suspicious fires have been deliberately set in the downtown Nanaimo area.
While most were considered minor in nature, involving cardboard or materials found in dumpsters, a fire started on June 4th outside a business on Cliff Street caused significant damage.
RCMP said they have identified several people of interest who may be responsible for some of these fires.
To help with the investigation, Nanaimo police and fire are coordinating their efforts.
Fire crews will preserve forensic evidence for officers to collect and use towards identifying potential suspects.
Nanaimo RCMP are also warning homeowners and businesses to beware since some suspects will check out potential fire targets prior to actually setting them.
“The biggest concern we have is combustible materials stored outside businesses overnight. Most are added to dumpsters that are not secured,” said Tim Doyle, Chief of Nanaimo Fire and Rescue.
“These need to be locked and the waste material disposed of or removed from the site daily.”
Doyle also added other fire proofing tips including:
- Ensuring cardboard, pallets, used cooking oil, containers, Styrofoam or packing materials are removed
- Practice good housekeeping rules by cleaning out next to buildings, alcoves and alleyways
- Keep lawns mowed and other landscaping maintained to reduce flammable objects around businesses and residences
Nanaimo RCMP are asking anyone with information on these incidents to call 250-754-2345 or to report any suspicious activity.