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Mission RCMP say child believed to have started fire at Egglestone home

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— image credit: RCMP

Mission Mounties are investigating two suspicious fires that happened this past week  on the same street.

An intentionally set blaze in the 32900 block of Egglestone Avenue last Thursday night appears to have been started by a young child, according to police.

Mission firefighters responded to a house fire around 10:15 p.m. on July 17.

"When our guys got on scene, they went to put out the hot spots," said assistant fire chief Rob Collins. "The majority of the fire was already knocked down by a neighbour with a garden hose."

One person was sleeping inside the house at the time, but managed to get out safely. No injuries were reported.

Investigators estimate the house sustained about $40,000 worth of damage.

Police say the fire was started at the side of the house and they believe a nine-year-old boy who lived in the neighbourhood is to blame.

"It appears some child's toys were set on fire near the house, which caused the siding to catch fire," said Sgt. Shaun Wright, who noted the Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) was called to follow up with the child and his guardian.

It is standard protocol for police to get in touch with MCFD when young children are involved in criminal activity.

"Under 12 years of age, they are the responsibility of MCFD and not subject to criminal prosecution under the provisions of the the Youth Criminal Justice Act and Criminal Code," Wright explained.

The second blaze happened shortly before 5 a.m. Monday morning when a 2005 GMC Jimmy was lit on fire. A small plastic gasoline can was on the ground near the vehicle, but there is no known motive for this incident, said Wright, who noted the two fires do not appear to be linked each other or to any of the other suspicious fires that happened earlier this year.

Police continue to investigate several arsons that took place earlier this year in April, including a mobile home fire that claimed the life of 86-year-old Bill Murphy.

According to Wright, there have not been any significant developments.

"They are still an open investigation, but do not appear linked to any other fires which have occurred since."

Wright is also encouraging Mission residents to take note of any suspicious activity in their neighbourhood and report it to police.

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