Suspicious fires worry Sooke fire chief

A number of fires have been set which are deemed suspicious and possibly the work of an arsonist

Five fires, which Sooke Fire Chief Sorensen terms “suspicious” have been set around Sooke over the past six months.

Sorensen wouldn’t go so far as to say there could be a serial arsonist at work, but he said someone or more than one person is setting fires.

“They have been suspicious in nature,” said Sorensen, referring to the last fire at a mobile home on Saturday, Feb 4. He said there was another unoccupied mobile in the same park that had a fire set around it but the fire had gone out.

A passerby noticed that a fire was set to the vapor barrier and there was some vandalism inside the new Toronto Dominion Bank on Sooke Road on January 7.

“It didn’t amount to much,” said Sorensen, “it could have been a lot worse.”

In November, 2011 a fifth-wheel on Kaltasin Road was lit on fire and a office chair was set on fire inside the washroom at the skateboard park.

And then there was the fire which destroyed a home on Rhodonite in October, and a tree on the old golf course property which was set on fire four times.

“Whether they’re linked, I don’t know,” said the fire chief.

Sorensen said it was important for residents to ensure that they do not store combustible materials around their homes, as this could be an invitation to a fire bug. He said recyclable materials should be placed out on the morning of a pick up and not left out over night.

“Out of sight, out of mind,” he said.

He asked residents to watch out for suspicious activity and if they had any such unreported incidents to contact the fire department so they can help build a pattern.