Motorhome blaze could be related to suspicious Vernon fires

The number of suspicious fires could be growing in Vernon.

After two incidents on the weekend, Vernon RCMP could be investigating a total of eight or nine blazes that could be arson related.

"We are following up on them," said Gord Molendyk, detachment spokesperson.

On Saturday, firefighters were called to reports of a motorhome fire in the 3600 block of 26th Avenue at about 11 p.m.

A fire was also started next to a vehicle at an automobile dealership on Pleasant Valley Road at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

This is just the latest in a string of suspicious fires in the community.

On May 22, firefighters tackled a pile of burning pallets in the 4600 block of 34th Street after 10 p.m.

A boat was also set ablaze May 20, a fire was sparked at a vacant home May 19, a portable outhouse was torched Monday May 19, a pile of railway ties was burned May 16 and a vacant commercial building was destroyed by fire May 18.

Few details are known about who may be responsible or if the incidents are linked.

"The more publicity there is, you can get copycats. We don't know if there is one individual or several individuals," said Molendyk, adding that arson fires can escalate in severity.

"Sooner or later, we are afraid someone will get hurt."

Saturday's RV fire had the potential to be far worse than it was.

"The motorhome was right up against an old building with metal siding," said Jack Blair, a deputy fire chief with the Vernon Fire Department.

"The heat radiated through the siding and ignited the timbers inside."

Firefighters had to force their way into the building to extinguish the blaze.

The owner of the RV had done some work on the vehicle earlier in the evening, but it's not believed that is related to the fire.

"There was no work that indicated a possible fire. There was no power to the vehicle and the battery was disconnected," said Blair.



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