Nanaimo Mounties search for suspect behind set fires

NANAIMO – Police searching for firebug who set two fires in shopping centre washroom.

Police in Nanaimo are asking the public to help them catch the person responsible for setting  washroom fires before the culprit moves on to other targets.

Mounties are investigating two fires that were deliberately set in the men’s washroom at the Woodgrove Centre food court. In both incidents, which occurred May 10 at 11 a.m. and Tuesday at about 2:30 p.m., the paper towel dispenser was set on fire. There was an unconfirmed report of a third fire today around 9 a.m.

Mall security personnel were able to put the first fire out before fire suppression sprinklers were activated, but it still caused smoke and fire damage.

The second fire triggered the sprinklers, but firefighters were needed to extinguish the blaze which caused smoke, water and fire damage.

The cost to repair and clean up the washroom is estimated at $2,500 dollars.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said arsonists will often light a series of fires or continue to light fires until they are caught.

“If somebody’s done two fires there’s a high probability of a third,” O’Brien said. “For example, the last dumpster fires (case) we had, it was information from the public that stopped that. That was good because we don’t know how long that would have gone on for.”

Anyone with information on either of these fires is asked to call Const. Abel Ramos at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.