One man was arrested and another is being sought by Nanaimo RCMP following two suspicious fires, one which sent a Nanaimo firefighter to hospital with a non life-threatening injury.
Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded to an early-morning fire at a commercial property at 1930 Boxwood Rd., Saturday, April 16.
The alarm came in at about 2 a.m., after a man allegedly leaned a large piece of corrugated plastic against a plastic portable toilet and lit it on fire, said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson. The flames ignited the portable toilet, which was close enough to the building to start a fire on its exterior, that worked its way into the building’s interior.
“Upon our arrival we had fire on the outside of the building,”said Troy Libbus, Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant chief. “They knocked that down really quickly, but they had to take some of the siding off to get at the studs.”
Libbus said one firefighter was taken to be treated at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for a non life-threatening injury, but for privacy reasons, was not able to disclose the nature of the injury.
O’Brien said investigators believe they have identified the suspect from security video and are not seeking witnesses at this time.
“We have forensic evidence and video surveillance and members’ knowledge of dealing with that individual,” O’Brien said. “We believe we have a positive identification of him.”
Nanaimo RCMP arrested a man who tried to light a fire next to a residence at 549 Prideaux St. on Monday, April 18.
Firefighters were called to the scene shortly before 6:30 p.m. and had doused the fire with a small pump can by the time RCMP arrived.
The man suspected of lighting the fire was still on scene.
“Members saw a smouldering and smoking pile next to the back door of the residence,” O’Brien said. “Firefighters were spraying it and noted that a window next to the back door had been smashed and a red can was found at the back of the house with a clear liquid that smelled of gasoline.”
The 65-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of arson and will also appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in late June.