Sooke RCMP have deemed a structure fire at the former gym and Mulligan’s Bar and Grill restaurant on Otter Point Road in the early hours this morning as suspicious.
According to police, the blaze broke out shortly after 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning in the 2000-block of Otter Point Road.
The building was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived on scene.
The building was slated for demolition and had no power connecting to the structure, and as such, the fire was ruled as suspicious.
Sooke RCMP initiated an arson investigation and are looking to speak to anyone who traveled along Otter Point Road between 2 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. or may have dash camera footage during those times.
The fire is considered the fourth suspicious fire to occur within the District of Sooke in the past two months.
Four fires in two months in Sooke area
According to Sooke RMCP, there have been four fires in a similar geographic area, all within walking distance from the downtown core.
On August 11th, a suspicious fire occurred at an abandoned / unoccupied structure on Eustace Road. A second fire was discovered by police at the same location on September 18th.
On September 27th, Sooke RCMP and Sooke Fire responded to a fire inside a derelict and abandoned vehicle at an abandoned / unoccupied residence on Townsend Road.
“Clearly a pattern of suspicious fires has been established and investigators are working to identify a suspect and in turn, prevent further person-caused fires in our community,” said Sergeant Kevin Shaw, operations commander for Sooke RCMP.
“Each fire has been reported in the late night or early morning hours, and the Sooke RCMP encourage members of the public to report any information about the fires, or any suspicious activities to the Sooke RCMP,” said Shaw.
While each of these fires have involved unoccupied property, RCMP said they still pose a risk to the public and to the emergency services called to respond.
Anyone with information on any of the recent fires in the Sooke area are asked to contact RCMP at 250-642-5241.