Arsonist puts wide area at risk
Firefighters douse two deliberately set fires before they have chance to spread
Two deliberately set fires at abandoned buildings in West Prince had potential to cause widespread damage, according to the deputy chief of the O’Leary Fire Department.
Particularly troubling was a fire at an abandoned building in Derby.
“If it had gotten into the woods, that would take care of all the woods for the whole shore, right through Hebron, right to West Point,” Jason Greenan said.
The O’Leary Fire Department was responding to a 2:15 a.m. call to the fire in Derby when firefighters noticed a glow in the sky towards Mount Royal and they called in the second alarm.
The firefighters on the first truck assessed the scene in Mount Royal before continuing on to the Derby fire, about eight kilometres away, leaving the responders on the second truck to put out the Mount Royal fire.
The O’Leary department split its 14 to 15 responding firefighters between the two fires, and they were assisted in Derby by West Point Fire Department.
“There’s an extreme fire ban on right now,” Greenan pointed out. “Anyone found guilty of burning a structure would also be responsible for any damage done if it turned into a forest fire or burned the next structure.”
Greenan estimates the Derby fire was set first as the abandoned cottage was pretty well levelled when firefighters arrived.
The roof had already caved in on the abandoned bungalow in Mount Royal, but the walls were still up when firefighters reached it. That fire, he said, was starting to spread into grass and into a small grove of trees that surrounded the abandoned home.
Firefighters had doused a deliberately set fire at that same bungalow last fall.
West Prince RCMP is treating both of Sunday’s fires as arson investigations.