Grow­ing con­cern

Sus­pected ar­son cases mount­ing in Mount Ste­wart

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY TERESA WRIGHT

The P.E.I. RCMP says it is con­cerned about a string of sus­pected ar­son in­ci­dents in Mount Ste­wart af­ter another build­ing was torched.

A sin­gle fam­ily dwelling was com­pletely de­stroyed by fire early Tues­day morn­ing on the cor­ner of Main and Union streets in Mount Ste­wart.

The pro­vin­cial fire mar­shal has been on the scene and has turned the file over to the RCMP for in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

This was the sec­ond fire within 24 hours in the com­mu­nity. Fire­fight­ers were called to a fire in the former Mount Ste­wart le­gion build­ing at 3:30 a.m. Monday morn­ing.

Seven homes and busi­nesses have been bro­ken into in Mount Ste­wart since April and sev­eral houses in nearby Cherry Hill have been set ablaze.

Res­i­dents are con­cerned about this rash of crime in their nor­mally quiet ru­ral com­mu­nity. They voiced fears and con­cerns about the in­ci­dents dur­ing a re­cent com­mu­nity meet­ing.

Po­lice say the com­mu­nity is be­ing mon­i­tored for crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity, and yet the fires and breakins con­tinue.

“RCMP are very con­cerned with the height­ened ac­tiv­ity in the com­mu­nity and are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the nu­mer­ous fire-re­lated crimes that have oc­curred re­cently,” the Moun­ties stated in a news re­lease Tues­day.

Pa­trols and in­ves­ti­ga­tions are un­der­way, but lo­cal res­i­dents are be­ing urged to come for­ward to help po­lice with any in­for­ma­tion they might have about the in­ci­dents.

“Rec­og­niz­ing that pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion of this na­ture is not al­ways easy, es­pe­cially in smaller com­mu­ni­ties as we have all across P.E.I., RCMP re­mind ev­ery­one that any­one who has in­for­ma­tion about this is­sue that might as­sist RCMP in this in­ves­ti­ga­tion can pro­vide anony­mously via P.E.I. Crime Stop­pers.”

BRIAN MCIN­NIS/THE GUARDIAN

Noth­ing re­mains of a va­cant house in Mount Ste­wart that was de­stroyed in a fire that of­fi­cials are call­ing ar­son. Crews from Bell Aliant were on the scene Tues­day evening re­pair­ing lines thet were melted from the heat of the fire. A res­i­dent of the vil­lage said peo­ple are on edge af­ter this blaze and the fire at the empty Royal Cana­dian Le­gion build­ing the night be­fore. There has also been a rash of break-ins that have rat­tled some res­i­dents. The old school that houses au­to­mo­tive ma­te­ri­als is also of some con­cern and it is hoped RCMP will step up pa­trols in the area. The old school lo­cated is lo­cated di­rectly across the street from where the house was de­stroyed.

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