A fire set early Friday morning not far from Blundell elementary may be the work of a serial arsonist, according to Richmond RCMP.
Police say they responded to a bush fire along the edge of Blundell Park at approximately 4:30 a.m. The fire was extinguished by a member of the public who came across it, before emergency crews arrived.
However, based on evidence at the scene, along with “the nature of the blaze,” RCMP said the fire seems to have been intentionally set and possibly the work of a serial arsonist.
Since January, there have been 15 similar fires – lit in hedges, garbage bins and construction site porta potties – all within a specific area in Richmond, said RCMP. The fires have typically been set between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., and all were extinguished "in short order."
“At this point, no one has been injured and property damages have been small. But Richmond RCMP is asking for information from anyone who can assist in identifying the person, or persons, responsible,” said Insp. Michael Cohee with Richmond RCMP, in a statement.
“Once we have a suspect, we can take steps to prevent any further arsons like these.”
While police set up targeted patrols in April and created a task force that has been working to identify the person or persons responsible, those efforts have so far been unsuccessful.
RCMP are asking residents who live in the area south of Granville Avenue and north of Williams Road to be “extra vigilant” at this time, and encourage them to check their home surveillance regularly to ensure it’s working properly, and report any suspicious activity captured overnight.
A tip line has also been set up, at 604-204-4627. Reports can also be made by email at Richmond_Tips@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Should you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.