News

Fire outside elementary school intentional

Someone was playing with fire at Uplands Park Elementary School last weekend.

Firefighters were called to the school twice in about a six-hour period. On Friday just before 7 p.m., crews responded to a report of a group of youths lighting something on fire on school grounds.

Doug Bell, chief fire investigator with Nanaimo Fire Rescue, said firefighters were unable to find anything at that time, but hours later, just before 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, crews returned to the school and found a burning container of fuel about 10 feet away from a door at the back of the school.

Near the fire, crews found empty liquor bottles.

Bell said there also appears to be a soot mark on the door near where the burning bottle was found, but he's not sure if that was caused last weekend or not.

"I have no doubt the two [calls] are connected," he said. "We haven't had any calls at that school since last summer. I still will go to talk to the school, have them be more vigilant."

Uplands Park was one of two schools that received "mosquito" devices last year to combat vandalism and loitering issues.

The mosquito is a machine that emits a high-frequency sound that generally only young people can hear.

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