A suspect is in custody after a vehicle fire forced people in a quiet neighbourhood to flee their homes over the weekend.

Firefighters were initially called to the scene around 4:30 a.m. Saturday when someone noticed the smoldering car in a duplex driveway.

“The fire spread from the vehicle that was parked next to the building onto a duplex. People had evacuated, then the firefighters extinguished the fire from the outside,” says District Chief Marc Cormier of the Dieppe Fire Department.

No one was injured, but the heat of the flames also melted siding on a shed and unfinished neighbouring home.

Just after the initial fire was extinguished, a bystander pointed out a second car fire in the same subdivision.

“There were two vehicles burning at the exact same time in the same subdivision, and to us that was suspicious in nature. It wasn't usual,” says Cormier.

Christian Gallant, 37, was arrested in connection with the initial fire and is facing charges of arson and disregard for human life.

 Police are not revealing whether the two fires are connected or if the suspect knows the victims.

“We're not going into the details of that part of the investigation right now,” says Sgt. Louis Robichaud of Codiac RCMP. “We're still putting all aspects of our investigation into chronological order to determine exactly what happened that day.”

Cormier says both vehicles are believed to be beyond repair.  

“The building itself is a duplex, so the fire unit is also probably going to be a total loss,” he says. “and then there was some smoke and water damage on the other side of the unit.”

Gallant is due to appear in Moncton provincial court on Wednesday for a bail hearing.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Cami Kepke.