Arsonist search in city

GUELPH – City police are investigating two more suspicious fires that took place overnight on Aug. 4 and 5.

Sergeant Douglas Pflug said at about 2:50am, police and firefighters were called to Kirkland Street, where a fire was extinguished in the rear of a utility trailer connected to an automobile.

Pflug said at the time the fire was discovered, an unknown man was seen in the vicinity. He is described as a white male, with a medium build, balding, wearing a T-shirt and khaki pants.

The trailer and contents received minimal damage.

Then just after 4am, police and firefighters were called to a parking lot at a south end townhouse complex where a vehicle was engulfed in flames. The fire was extinguished, but the vehicle was destroyed. An adjacent parked vehicle was also damaged.

Pflug said early estimates of the value of the property damage are about $4,000 to 6,000, and that police believe the fire might be related to a recent incident where the same vehicle was vandalized. They plan to investigate the relationship between the two incidents.

There were no injuries with either fire.

Pflug said the cause of the fire on Kirkland Street is arson. Further examination will be required to find the cause of the College Avenue fire but he said it is does not appear to be natural or mechanical in nature. Investigators will be comparing the evidence and circumstances of both fires to determine if there are any connections to the recent arsons  in the Grange Road area of Guelph.

The Guelph Police Service has dedicated resources to the latest fires and will be working with the Guelph Fire Department to investigate. Pflug said police are urging all residents to be attentive and to call if they see any suspicious activity.

Investigators credited  witnesses to the latest fires for the timely calls they made to 9-1-1. Further, a passerby to the Kirkland Street fire was able to phone 9-1-1, then obtained a fire extinguisher and started putting out that fire. Pflug said that area resident’s action ensured that there was not a significantly worse loss.

Anyone with information about either of the two fires is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Dave Elloway at 519-824-1212 extension 344, or leave an anonymous tip at Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or to submit on-line at