Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters put out a fire inside the Circle K convenience store on Departure Bay Road on Saturday night. (Dylan Phillips photo)

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters put out a fire inside the Circle K convenience store on Departure Bay Road on Saturday night. (Dylan Phillips photo)

Fire at Nanaimo convenience store starts after teen allegedly shoots flare at clerk

Incident happened just after 9 p.m. Saturday at Circle K on Departure Bay Road

A gas station convenience store has been shut down due to fire damage after a shoplifter shot a flare in the direction of a clerk inside.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews were called out to the fire at the Circle K convenience store on Departure Bay Road and Norwell Drive on Saturday just after 9 p.m.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said two teenagers allegedly shoplifted from the store.

“One of them discharged a single-tube flare into the store directly at the clerk, struck merchandise, a fire ignited, caused significant damage, the clerk fled the store,” O’Brien said.

The clerk wasn’t hurt, but was traumatized by the incident, O’Brien said, adding that the store sustained extensive damage to the structure and the merchandise.

Police have accessed surveillance video and have identified the suspects involved as two 16-year-olds, whom they have not yet located. He said a possible charge of mischief endangering life could stem from the incident.

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Jodi Le Masurier, assistant fire chief, said crews did a great job getting the fire quickly under control and extinguished. She said a fire at a gas station potentially adds risks.

“In those kinds of situations, definitely the incident commander would be aware of the tanks that are close by and would be taking those risks into consideration,” she said.

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