Police arrested two teens following a third fire set in the men’s washroom at Woodgrove Centre’s food court.
The fire, which set off fire suppression sprinklers and alarms and again required firefighters to snuff it out, was reported shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday.
Once again, the paper towel dispenser was set ablaze as was the case in the previous two fires reported May 10 and Tuesday.
“While investigating, mall security found two young males in an area of the mall where normally the public don’t go to –- in an area that caused some suspicion,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “They were approached and later taken into custody.”
Police arrested both teens, ages 17 and 16, for the fires. The 16-year-old was held in custody overnight as police continued the investigation and have recommended three counts of arson against him.
The 17-year-old was released Thursday into the care of his parents on a promise to appear at Nanaimo provincial court at a later date. Police are recommending one count of arson against him.
No one was injured by any of the fires, but smoke, fire and water damage from the three fires has tallied up several thousand dollars in damages.
“[Towel dispensers] are on tiled walls, but you have smoke damage throughout the washroom and smoke damage down the exit corridors in back of all those stores and water damage from Tuesday and [Thursday],” said Ennis Mond, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer.
O’Brien said the investigation into the arsons is continuing and it is possible more suspects could be arrested.
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.