Wednesday, June 24, 2015

RCMP provide additional background and continue to seek assistance in Vehicle Fire investigation

A Monday afternoon media conference
provided background on a string of
recent vehicle fires in the city
Prince Rupert City Hall was the setting for a media conference earlier this week, with representatives of the RCMP, Fire Department and Mayor Lee Brain outlining some of the background to a string of fires that have taken place in the community over the last seven days.

Constable Matt Ericson handled the bulk of the commentary on the nature of the investigation, providing a short overview of the recent fires, noting that while they haven't tied the fires together at this time,  there are similarities related to the fires.

Of the most recent incident, the RCMP are particularly interested in witness statements that advised that two males were seen running from the area of the Four Winds Apartments, though the descriptions provided didn't offer up much detail, other than one of those fleeing the area was not wearing a shirt.

The Prince Rupert Detachment's General Investigation Section is handling the case file and actively pursuing leads to the incidents in question, Constable Ericson further asked for the assistance of the public, particularly if anyone may have video surveillance of photo evidence from the areas where the offences occurred.

As well, the RCMP asked that if anyone in the area notices suspicious activity in their neighbourhood to contact the RCMP immediately.

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue Chief Dave McKenzie also spoke at the media session, asking that people secure their immediate areas around their house, locking up such items as gasoline or fuel located in open areas, locking cars and removing any potential items that could possibly be used to start a fire.

The Mayor also made a few observations related to the recent incidents and reinforced that all information should be relayed through the RCMP or Crime Stoppers.

During the course of the question and answer portion of the media conference, Constable Ericson noted that they could not at this moment reveal the nature of the source of the fires as it could jeopardize the investigation.

As for suspects, the RCMP is in the process of following up on leads that have been provided to them. Constable Ericson added that while they can't link the fires together at this moment, they are confident in saying that each of the fires under investigation share similarities.

Chief McKenzie provided further background on the Four Winds fire call, advising that it resulted in serious damage to the structure, including heavy smoke damage to all three floors of the building. During the course of the evacuation, a number of the residents were assessed by BC Ambulance for Smoke inhalation concerns.

The most recent fires of the last week are not believed to be connected to a previous suspicious fire on 11th Avenue from April.

The full media presentation was made available on the CityWest Channel 10 website, you can review it below.

Those with any information related to the case files currently under investigation can contact the RCMP at 250-627-0700  or through CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477

You can review more background on the recent incidents from our Emergency Services archive page here.

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