Spate of fires at Halifax seniors home worries residents, families
HALIFAX -- There is growing concern from residents living in a senior's facility in the south end of Halifax.
In a month-long period starting in December, there have been at least four fires in the building -- all deliberately set.
Police are investigating, but residents say they're worried about their safety.
At 76, Ellen Pottie is first to admit her mobility isn't what it used to be, but other than that, she's got few complaints.
However, visiting with her son in the common room of the senior's complex where she's lived for nearly 15 years, Pottie says she's more than a little concerned about recent developments in the building.
"It's scary," Pottie said. "I'm this close to putting in for a transfer, but then again, where do I go?"
It's a question a number of residents are asking after no fewer than four fires in the building between Dec. 12 and Jan. 12.
They broke out in unusual places: locker and garbage rooms and a sitting area on the second floor.
Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency confirms every fire was intentionally set and regional police are investigating.
"Currently, they're being investigated by our general investigation section, and we work closely with HRM Fire when these occur, as well as Metro Regional Housing Authority," said Halifax Regional Police spokesperson Const. Amy Edwards.
Residents have gotten used to seeing clean-up and repair crews working all over the building.
Last Saturday, someone pulled the fire alarm at 2:30 a.m., although there was no actual fire.
Robert Hamilton doesn't mince words when asked how worried he is about his mother.
"On a scale of one to 10? Twelve, I mean, my mother is 76 years old, she can barely walk, she lives on the fifth floor," Hamilton said. "Every time the fire alarm goes off, she's got to walk down five flights of stairs."
Fire inspectors have visited the building a number of times, and even hosted a couple of safety talks with residents.
All of it is only moderately reassuring to residents like Pottie.
"Where three of the fires were is locked," Pottie said.
It's a frightening prospect as the investigation continues in a home where there are usually few complaints.
Pottie is not the only resident who's concerned. A number of others say they're worried, too.
Halifax Fire said Tuesday that, while all the fires were deliberately set, there doesn't appear to be anything linking them together.
Police say the investigation is ongoing.