More suspicious fires plague Vernon RCMP and Vernon Fire Rescue

Two more suspicious fires on the weekend have Vernon Fire Rescue Services and RCMP frustrated

Two more suspicious fires on the weekend have Vernon Fire Rescue Services and RCMP frustrated.

On Friday, shortly before midnight, fire and police were called to a report of a fire in an abandoned house in the 3800 block of 30th Avenue.

“The rear of the building was totally engulfed when the fire department arrived,” said Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk Monday morning.

Just before midnight Sunday, the B.X. Swan Lake Fire Department received a report of a boat on fire in the 7000 block of Pleasant Valley Road at a locked compound.

“The boat is approximately 22-feet long and is totally destroyed,” said Molendyk.

Similar to a boat fire the previous weekend at a compound in Spallumcheen, at the north end of Swan Lake, there was also minor heat damage to another larger boat that was parked next to it.

Both fires this weekend were started around midnight, both are deemed suspicious and there are no suspects at this point.

The total number of suspicious unsolved fires in the Greater Vernon and Spallumcheen area is in double digits.

“It is frustrating,” said Vernon deputy fire chief Lawrie Skolrood. “It ties our crews up and officers in terms of investigation. It’s costly in terms of man-time.”

Vernon RCMP have allocated added resources to the investigation. What’s equally frustrating for both sets of emergency personnel is there hasn’t been one solid clue linking the unsolved fires.

“There are some similarities with some of the fires,” said Skolrood. “They’ve escalated, “I think ,more into crimes of opportunity, like the vacant buildings, vehicles and boats.

“It just seems like it’s where they can cause the most trouble.”

If there is one similiarity, it’s a majority of the fires have started between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., and several of the fires have been at Vernon’s north end.

“The best thing the public and businesses can do is protect their property, keep a lookout for suspicious activities and report it to police right away,” said Skolrood.