Chase RCMP probe arson at abandoned home where shots were fired days prior

Chase RCMP probe arson at abandoned home where shots were fired days prior

Chase RCMP condemn vigilantism, ask public to leave investigation to police

A fire at a Scotch Creek residence is being investigated as an act of arson after police identified two points of ignition.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 10, Chase RCMP responded to a report of lights being on in a supposedly abandoned residence on Hilliam Road. Upon their arrival, RCMP officers found the light source – solar powered garden lamps were on within the building. As the officers walked around the residence, however, they discovered the back of the building was on fire.

Read more: Scotch Creek landmark to be restored

Read more: Intentionally-set fire damages Scotch Creek building

Fire crews from the Scotch Creek and Celista fire departments arrived and promptly extinguished the blaze.

With the fire out, the investigating officers determined the cause of the fire to be suspicious. Signs of ignition were seen underneath the building on the exterior that had failed to catch fire, although fire had started in a closet in the interior of the house.

“It appears that some clothing was burnt up but definitely with multiple points of ignition, and this points towards intentionally set fire,” said Sean Coubrough, Fire Services Coordinator for the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.

Read more: Update: Firefighters contain blaze at commercial garage in Scotch Creek

Read more: Boil water notice issued for Scotch Creek/Lee Creek fire hall water system

The fire occurred at the same residence involved in a previous incident on Sept. 7, where Chase RCMP responded to a report of shots being fired from the residence, directed at a group of people who had the intention of confronting its occupants about alleged stolen property.

The Chase RCMP detachment is concerned the attempted burning of the building is an escalation of the conflict between a group of local residents and the home’s previous occupants.

In a related news release, Chase RCMP state the detachment does not condone vigilantism and recommends the public leave investigations to the police.

Since Saturday’s events, RCMP have noticed ‘no trespassing’ signs erected in front of the property. So far police are unclear if the signs were put there by neighbours or people on the property.

Read more: No link between Scotch Creek structure fires

Read more: Confrontation over alleged stolen property leads to gunfire in Scotch Creek

The residence had been known to police before the events of Sept. 7. A previous RCMP file on the property involved a makeshift system to siphon electrical power from BC Hydro. Power to the residence has since been disconnected.

Chase RCMP is asking that anyone with any information regarding this investigation, or any other crime, to contact the Chase Detachment at 250-679-3221 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

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