Arson suspected in Bent Mast fire

James Bay Pub ignited Thursday morning

Arson is being considered as the reason behind the charred front porch of James Bay’s Bent Mast Pub.

At 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, neighbours near the pub alerted fire crews to a fire burning at the building, at 512 Simcoe St.

Seventeen firefighters and one investigator arrived in six vehicles. They took a “fast attack” approach on the blaze, said firefighter Clint Cole.

“A rig comes in and starts fighting the fire directly without stringing into a hydrant,” he explained. The fast attack is used when a fire needs to be contained right away, from the building’s exterior.

“It was a really good call by the battalion chief,” Cole said.

In the end, it is estimated the fire did $10,000 in damage.

Cole, who wasn’t on shift for the Bent Mast fire, said he doesn’t know the specifics about why investigators suspect arson in the fire. But signs such as two starting points for the flames, gerry cans and traces of accelerants can suggest malicious intent.

“There’s many things you have to look for, so arson’s always on your mind,” Cole said.

Firefighters had extinguished the fire by about 6 a.m., and investigators left the scene at about 9 a.m. Thursday.

ecardone@vicnews.com