Nanaimo RCMP are would like to talk with possible witnesses who might have seen who was responsible for setting debris alight that damaged one of École Océane’s portable classrooms on the weekend. (Photos submitted)

UPDATE: Fire official deems morning fire at Nanaimo school suspicious

Nanaimo Fire Rescue extinguishes fire at portable at École Océane

Police are investigating after a portable at a school in Nanaimo sustained damage Saturday morning from a fire characterized by a fire official as suspicious.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded to a structure fire at 7 a.m. Saturday at École Océane on Estevan Road and extinguished it quickly, according to Jodi Le Masurier, assistant chief of training.

“We went to what was a suspicious fire for us,” said Le Masurier. “It started on the outside of the building. It was one of their portables and our crews did a great job knocking it down fast, so it actually only got partway into a wall so it did very minimal damage.”

Le Masurier said she couldn’t comment on possible causes and it was hard to determine if the building would be available for use.

“It looks like it did very minimal damage to the outside, but sometimes it takes a little while before they determine, ‘Are we going to let the students back in here,’” Le Masurier said.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said Monday the fire was started by someone who placed debris next to the side of a portable classroom in an area that was sheltered from view by a large retaining wall and that it would have taken some time for the fire to ignite.

“We’re looking for witnesses, from about 6 a.m. to about 7:30,” O’Brien said. “Anybody in the area. Any vehicles in the area in or around the school … fire bugs often come back because they like to see the fruits of their labour.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 To remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit a tip online at

READ ALSO: City of Nanaimo signs up for fire awareness

More from the News Bulletin on Facebook and Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

280-unit development in Lantzville will proceed to public hearing

Mayor says Clark/Medd properties affect municipality’s future

Nanaimo’s Bastion Street Bridge to close for repairs

Bridge linking downtown Nanaimo to Old City Quarter to close for 18 days to fix deck joints

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo’s Rocky Point

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

City of Nanaimo and RDN re-opening playgrounds

Playgrounds will be back open on Wednesday, June 3, with health guidelines in effect

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment in schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Most Read