While several recent suspected arson cases are under investigation across B.C., an ongoing investigation into a number of arson incidents in White Rock from five years ago has finally resulted in the arrest of suspects.
On May 15 in 2016, a number of arsons and property crimes took place throughout White Rock.
Among them was a residential structure under development at 15219 Pacific Avenue that was set on fire.
This fire, known as the Five Corners Fire, caused millions of dollars in damages, displaced about 100 people from their homes, and disrupted local businesses.
Residents from 60 units at the neighbouring four-storey Ocean Ridge complex at 15210 Pacific Avenue were evacuated during the blaze, and the building was significantly damaged.
In addition, the heavy demand upon the city’s water reservoirs by firefighting efforts impacted both water quality and supply, prompting the city to issue a boil-water advisory at the time.
After inspecting the site, Investigators had determined that the fire had been deliberately set, and the investigation continued on over the past few years.
Then this year, White Rock RCMP stated that on July 6, officers arrested two male suspects, one from the White Rock area and another from outside the Lower Mainland, for several offences, including arson, breaking and entering, and theft.
The suspects have been released from custody while recommendations for charges are being forwarded.
“This was a detailed and complex investigation that involved multiple evidentiary scenes, forensic analysis, the involvement of approximately 120 police and civilian witnesses that held a small piece of the puzzle or contributed to the investigation over the last five years, and the assistance of over a dozen RCMP detachments and units,” Sgt. Kale Pauls explained in a news release.
Pauls added that some officers and municipal employees “were persistent in uncovering all the available evidence to get this investigation to this point”.
No further details are being released at this point but Pauls said that police hope that “the ongoing proceedings will allow for further closure as the details are disclosed in the judicial process”.