The Port Alberni Fire Department extinguished a suspicious fire in the 2800-block of Second Avenue on Monday, July 19. (PHOTO COURTESY PAFD)

The Port Alberni Fire Department extinguished a suspicious fire in the 2800-block of Second Avenue on Monday, July 19. (PHOTO COURTESY PAFD)

Port Alberni RCMP investigate suspicious structure fire

Police appealing to the public for information and video footage of the area

Port Alberni RCMP are investigating a “suspicious” structure fire in Port Alberni and are appealing to the public for more information.

On Monday, July 19, 2021, at approximately 2:45 p.m., Port Alberni RCMP and the Port Alberni Fire Department responded to a fire in progress at a residence on Second Avenue between Mar and Montrose Streets. A neighbour had observed the fire at the rear of the building in an external storage shed attached to the house, called for assistance and made efforts to suppress the fire with a garden hose. The fire was promptly controlled and there was minimal damage to the structure, which was vacant at the time.

The cause of the fire is undetermined at present, but RCMP say it is suspicious and is still under investigation. A Forensic Identification Section investigator attended to examine the scene and related materials.

The police are interested in speaking to witnesses or viewing any dash cam or private video from the area around Second Ave (First to Third and Mar to Montrose) that may identify persons in the vicinity in the hours immediately before the incident. If you have any information, please contact the Port Alberni detachment at 250-723-2424.

This was just the first of two suspicious fires in Port Alberni within two days. On Tuesday morning, Port Alberni Fire Department responded to a brush fire behind the 3600 block of Third Avenue. Port Alberni RCMP also attended, and reported that one suspect has been identified and arrested.

“With the current weather and winds it is crucial that we control all potential sources of ignition and be mindful of activities in our area that may result in fires,” said Sgt. Peter Dionne of the Port Alberni RCMP. “For fire response within the city of Port Alberni, call 911 and ask for fire. If suspects or suspicious activity is observed, request police as well.”

To report a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour that could start a wildfire in British Columbia, please call 1 800 663-5555 or (*5555 from a cell phone)