Arrests made in Hope fire spree

Police have recommended charges of arson for two local 14-year-old males in connection with three fires on Wednesday

Firefighters standby after extinguishing a fire inside a portable trailer at the corner of Nelson and Raab streets on Dec. 18.

Two local 14-year-old males have been arrested in connection with three fires last Wednesday.

The first incident took place at about 6 a.m. on a property across from Memorial Park on Fourth Avenue. The fire started in a garage in between an abandoned house and neighbouring office/residential building. Both structures were destroyed in the fire, displacing a business and a resident living in the upstairs unit.

Later that morning, an employee at Hope Arena notified police that two plastic bins had been set on fire outside the rink and the back door of the Curling Club had been spray painted. The fire managed to extinguish itself before causing any further damage.

While firefighters were still putting out hot spots underneath the debris on Fourth Avenue, the fire department and RCMP were called to a third fire at the corner of Nelson and Raab streets at about 4 p.m. Smoke was seen billowing from a portable trailer on the property when crews arrived on scene. Firefighters quickly knocked down the flames inside the structure and contained the fire to one unit.

“Before the third fire, we were already on the trail of one of the individuals,” said Staff Sgt. Suki Manj. “We believe one of the youth was involved in three of the fires, and the second was only involved in the last one. Witnesses provided a description of the two individuals and we located and arrested them that night.”

Police have recommended charges of arson and mischief for one youth, and arson for the other.

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