String of fires raises suspicions in Stewiacke, N.S.
A string of fires in Stewiacke, N.S. is raising suspicions among police and the people who live there.
RCMP received a 911 call around 8:30 p.m. Monday that a storage shed at the Stewiacke Home Hardware was on fire.
Police and fire crews responded to the blaze and the fire was extinguished by 1 a.m.
Police say the fire was contained to the storage shed, which was inside a gated, locked compound and was used to store miscellaneous items.
Thelma Lavering says her home, located near the shed, was evacuated as a safety precaution. The effects of the heat can be seen on the back of her garage.
“Lots of flame, I thought it was all on flame, I thought,” she says.
Some customers who stopped at the hardware store on Tuesday said a recent string of fires in the town can’t be a coincidence.
“The laundromat here last year, two buildings out here, the hardware store, BJ Electrics,” says Joseph Michael Babin. “It’s gotta be someone doing it. It has to be.”
Not all of the fires have been deemed suspicious. A cabinet shop fire in January was ruled accidental while an electric motor shop remains under investigation.
The RCMP have redoubled their efforts on cases that are questionable.
“We want to look at all four fires at this stage to determine if there is a common denominator, a link, or a link there, or something we have overlooked,” says Sgt. Al Affleck of the Colchester District RCMP.
Stewiacke Mayor Wendy Robinson insists the economic impact of the fires has been minimal.
“The employees were able to be absorbed into other parts of their organizations within the next two or three days,” says Robinson. “One of two of them may have had a few days off.”
The cause of the latest fire remains under investigation.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ron Shaw