Man charged with arson in connection with N.S. fire
The Cape Breton Regional Police spent Tuesday investigating two suspicious fires that burned in New Waterford, N.S. Monday night.
Published Tuesday, July 24, 2012 6:50PM ADT
The Cape Breton Regional Police spent Tuesday investigating two suspicious fires that burned in New Waterford, N.S. Monday night. A 30-year-old man was arrested in connection with a fire outside the New Waterford pool hall and charged with arson.
There were three fires in as many days in the community. One of the vacant buildings destroyed by fire was the childhood home of Jenny Timmons.
“A whole lot of memories came back,” says Timmons. “ You wonder what’s it all about? I know my dad wouldn’t be impressed because he kept this place really nice. He was a coal miner.”
It’s the fourth time in months the building has been set ablaze and the third fire in New Waterford since Saturday. For firefighters, those kinds of numbers spell danger.
“Lately, there seems to be another increase in the numbers of fires in vacant buildings. It creates extra hazards for firefighters, particularly when you’ve had several fires there before. You don’t know how much structural damage is in there,” says Chief Brent Denny of CBRM Fire.
Two CBRM firefighters were injured over the weekend when they ran inside a burning home. In addition to the human costs, every alarm costsmoney.
“One figure you hear regularly is roughly $1,200 per call, every time they go out the door,” says Denny.
With over 100 vacant building fires per year, it adds up to over $120,000 in costs for the municipality.
Derelict buildings are also headaches for neighbours.
"It’s been a problem and eyesore for years,” says fire witness Mike Bennett. “The problem we had at first was young fellas going in there. I don’t know if they were smoking dope or what, but they were in there constantly.”
Denny says the municipality is doing a good job of knocking down abandoned buildingsto avoid arson, but there’s still work to be done.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald