Four suspicious fires have been set in the Sioux Lookout community this month, and officers with the Sioux Lookout OPP are warning those who may be responsible that they could face charges of arson.
The first fire was reported on May 5, when emergency responders rushed to the scene of a seven-unit apartment building fire on Prince Street. Police say the cause of the fire is unknown, but it was determined to have started outside of the apartments.
All tenants of the seven-unit building on Prince Street made it out safely, and the fire wasn’t able to spread to neighbouring properties due to the efforts of the fire department.
On May 12, firefighters and police responded to a woodpile fire behind a Prince Street home, and the OPP say a lighter and matches were found in the immediate area.
The following day, a substantial fire was set in the bush behind a Cedar Crescent home. Fighters noted the fire may have been intentionally set, and told the OPP they saw a group of youth leaving the area.
On May 18, emergency responders once again responded to a woodpile fire behind a church on First Avenue, which closed the roadway to traffic while crews attended the scene.
“Intentionally set fires are not a joking matter,” said the OPP, in a prepared release. “Beyond mischief, individuals who intentionally cause damage by fire to a property that is not owned by themselves may be charged with the Criminal Code offence of Arson.”
Anyone with any information related to the fires is asked to contact the Sioux Lookout OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) immediately.
There are five separate offences for arson under the Criminal Code of Canada, with maximum penalties of up to 10 years of jail time. Arson charges include damage to property, damage to own property, disregard for human life, negligence and for a fraudulent purpose.