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‘Heightened awareness’ after another suspicious fire in Wellington County

by Olivia Rutt

WELLINGTON NORTH - A fire in a debris pile located at an unoccupied house is being considered suspicious by the Wellington County OPP.

The fire near Sideroad 25 and First Line in Wellington North was called in by a passerby at about 8:40pm on March 12.

Because the exact address was unknown at the time,  Centre Wellington Fire Services responded. Upon arrival, firefighters found a debris pile and a tree next to the house on fire.

“We were able to quickly extinguish it, but another 10 or 15 minutes and it would have been a house fire,” said Centre Wellington Fire Chief Brad Patton.

He added the house appeared to be unoccupied at the time, but work was being done on the property.

“We have no idea how [the fire] started,” said Patton.

“There was certainly some tire tracks and foot prints around the area that may or may not have been from the people doing the renovations, we don’t know.”

The fire is being treated as suspicious and is being investigated by the Wellington County OPP, West Region Criminal Operations and the OPP Forensic Identification Unit.

Patton said due to the numerous suspicious fires in the area since October, fire departments have a “heightened awareness” for suspicious fires.

“These types of fire are pulling out all our volunteers, away from responding to other emergencies, away from their families,” said Patton. “Yes, we’re very concerned.”

Anyone  with information regarding this fire can contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip on-line at Tip providers may be eligible for a reward from Crime Stoppers of up to $2,000.


March 17, 2017


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