Capt. Alan Millbank, head of Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s Fire and Loss Prevention Division, takes photos of the scene of a blaze that heavily damaged two apartments on Wakesiah Avenue on Sunday, April 18. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Capt. Alan Millbank, head of Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s Fire and Loss Prevention Division, takes photos of the scene of a blaze that heavily damaged two apartments on Wakesiah Avenue on Sunday, April 18. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

UPDATE: RCMP make arrest in apartment arson fire

Fire destroyed ground-floor apartment, spread to second storey at Wakesiah Avenue complex

UPDATE: RCMP say Wakesiah Avenue fire was arson, suspect has been arrested

PREVIOUSLY POSTED: Nanaimo Fire Rescue and RCMP are investigating a fire that broke out and caused heavy damage in an apartment building in the Wakesiah area on the weekend.

Firefighters were called to blaze in an apartment in the 100 block of Wakesiah Avenue on Sunday, April 18, shortly before 1:30 p.m.

Fire investigators were investigating the scene Monday.

“We think it was a suspicious fire,” said Capt. Alan Millbank, head of Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s Fire and Loss Prevention division. “RCMP have taken over that part.”

The fire broke out in a ground-floor apartment, which was occupied by two people who were not home at the time of the fire, which spread to a second-floor apartment that was vacant.

There were no reported injuries resulting from the incident and Millbank would not discuss what led the fire department to call upon the police.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, had not received details about the investigation into the fire Monday, but did confirm an police investigation had been started.

The cause of the fire, which completely gutted the ground-floor apartment, has not been determined.

Millbank is also asking people in Nanaimo to be extremely cautious with cigarettes and fire after Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded to 16 fire calls over the weekend, which included another structure fire on Emery Way, multiple bark mulch fires and two incidents of tires being set alight in the parking lots of Dover Bay Secondary School and Rutherford Elementary School.

“The only thing I would say to people right now is be careful of how you’re discarding your cigarettes because we’ve had an unusually dry spring,” Millbank said.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
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