The Victoria Police Department is investigating six suspicious fires lit over the long weekend.
Less than a week after the department asked the public for help with an ongoing investigation into nine suspicious fires set in Victoria and Esquimalt in March and early April, VicPD is asking for information about an additional six fires.
The first fire was set in a dumpster the 3000-block of Blanshard Street on April 12. Officers were called around 9:45 a.m. and the dumpster was damaged. Around 11 a.m. the same day, officers were called to the scene of another dumpster fire in the 2800-block of Irma Street.
Just after 10 p.m. that night, a VicPD officer spotted a third fire – a cedar hedge in the 900-block of Topaz Avenue was burning. The officer used a fire extinguisher to stop the fire from spreading. The Victoria Fire Department arrived shortly after and put out the rest of the flames.
The next morning at 8:15 a.m., VicPD was called to a shed fire in the 400-block of Parry Street. The fire spread to a garage on another property in the 500-block of Michigan Street before crews could put it out. Bother the shed and garage were damaged.
Later that evening, around 10:30 p.m., officers received reports of a large area of burned grass on a residential lawn in the 500-block of Toronto Street. Investigators determined that the fire had occurred in the last 24 hours.
At 10:45 p.m. on April 13, VicPD was called to a tent fire the 500-block of Ellice Street. Several other tents were damaged by the fire but police said no one was injured.
Victoria police say no one was injured as a result of any of the suspicious fires. As of April 14, VicPD could not say if the incidents are related but asked that residents secure garbage cans and dumpsters and to keep anything combustible away from buildings.
Most of the fires are occurring in Victoria with the latest incidents. Esquimalt Fire Chief Chris Jancowski added “we haven’t seen too much recently. About four to eight weeks ago we had some mischievous fires in areas of town out toward Admirals and Coleville … Since that little rash, we haven’t seen a continuation of that in Esquimalt.”
Police are also asking that exterior lights be kept on so that suspicious activity can be spotted and reported.
The investigation into the fires is ongoing and anyone with information about any of the incidents is asked to call the VicPD non-emergency line at 250-995-7654. To report anonymously, call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
-With files from Nicole Crescenzi