Ar­sons shock per­fect lit­tle North Toronto neigh­bour­hood

Moore Park res­i­dents awaken to burned-out cars and a fam­ily home set on fire

Midtown Post - - Crime - by An­gela Hennessy

A lo­cal res­i­dent of Moore Park in a quiet, leafy Toronto neigh­bour­hood near the cor­ner of Bayview Av­enue and Moore Av­enue was get­ting her chil­dren ready for school when she dis­cov­ered her mid­town neigh­bour­hood looked like a war zone.

Shortly be­fore 3 a.m. that morn­ing, a spree of ar­son at­tacks had left sev­eral cars and garages to­tally burnt and one house on her street in flames.

“I didn’t even know what hap­pened un­til our friend, who was pick­ing up my child from school, couldn’t get down our street and called us,” said the woman, who re­quested her name not be used for per­sonal rea­sons.

She walked out­side to find it black­ened, blocked off and swarmed with me­dia, fire trucks and po­lice.

“We were lucky that we kept our cars locked,” she said. Al­though she was spared any property dam­age, she has a friend on the street who lost three cars.

“It was very apoc­a­lyp­tic, one car was com­pletely shelled out.”

It ap­pears that people whose cars were locked were saved from the at­tack, but oth­ers who had left their car (or cars) unlocked, had theirs set on fire.

A sur­veil­lance video, re­leased by Toronto Po­lice Ser­vice, that was taken at the scene shows a dark fig­ure — be­lieved to be the ar­son­ist — walk­ing by an open garage.

“What’s re­ally scary is that they set a house on fire with a fam­ily in­side. That’s ma­ni­a­cal,” she said.

The worst dam­age was to a house that caught fire at the end of Burn­ham Road, and the flames reached the sec­ond floor where a five-year-old child was sleep­ing.

Luck­ily no one was hurt as a re­sult of any of the fires.

Nearly two weeks af­ter the at­tack, se­ri­ous wreck­age re­mains, in­clud­ing car-sized burn marks in the road, a blocked off cor­ner property and a lot of un­set­tled res­i­dents.

“This hap­pened in our seem­ingly per­fect lit­tle neigh­bour­hood,” said the res­i­dent, who had just moved into the area with her fam­ily one month be­fore the in­ci­dent.

This area of Moore Av­enue — in­clud­ing Burn­ham Road, Ever­green Gar­dens, Heath­bridge Park, Wind­mill Road and Nes­bitt Drive — is typ­i­cally a very safe neigh­bour­hood.

Kids play hockey in the streets, there are bas­ket­ball nets in many laneways and people leave their cars unlocked.

“Noth­ing like this has ever hap­pened in this neigh­bour­hood,” said Toronto city coun­cil­lor John Parker, who had ar­rived at the scene early that morn­ing af­ter hear­ing the news in a ra­dio broad­cast on his way to work.

“So far it seems to have been a com­pletely ran­dom act by a per­son whose mo­tives are un­clear.”

Parker said that al­though he has faith in Toronto po­lice to do a great job, he be­lieves it is go­ing to be dif­fi­cult to find a sus­pect with the limited ev­i­dence they have to work with.

Po­lice are urg­ing any­one with in­for­ma­tion to please come for­ward by con­tact­ing po­lice, at 416-808-5300, or Crime Stop­pers at 1-800222-TIPS (8477).

One of many burned out cars in Moore Park

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