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Firebug not suspected: Oliver Fire Department

Three suspicious fires in a week, the latest at Global Grocers

The Oliver Fire Department doesn’t think the town has a firebug on its hands and if there was, the community would be warned.

This comes after two suspicious fires on Sunday night, one at the popular Global Grocers store on Highway 97 and another was a car fire on School Avenue.

“There is nothing to suggest that these fires are related or that any evidence or investigation points towards a single person out there causing these fires,” said Rob Graham, spokesperson for the Oliver Fire Department.

On Sunday, March 13 at 10 p.m., firefighters fought against high winds to stop a suspicious blaze from spreading to the interior of the Global Grocers. With hard work, they were successful in keeping the flames to the outside.

At the same time, a car was torched on School Avenue. Crews quickly put out that fire before heading back to Global Grocers.

Due to the time, the Global Grocers fire was discovered late at night does suggest that it is suspicious though no cause is determined at this time, said Graham. The blaze originated on the exterior of the building.

“The fact that we have had so many structure fires this close together is a coincidence at this point and should further evidence point towards a possible single person, we would make some sort of announcement at that point,” said Graham.

Oliver RCMP is investigating both fires, said Sgt. Don Wrigglesworth.

“If any neighbours have video for us we would like to know,” he added.

Oliver fire crews have been kept busy in recent weeks putting out several suspicious fires.

Last Sunday, Oliver fire crews were called to an old garage that was fully engulfed.

Around 1:40 a.m. on Sunday, March 6, Oliver Fire responded to calls of flames coming from an old garage/workshop on farmland at Station Street and Co-Op St. Fire crews arrived to find the building fully engulfed.

READ MORE: Oliver firefighters called to suspicious fire

Prior to that surveillance cameras caught a person lighting the Pot Doctor shop on fire Feb. 22.

WATCH: Pot shop torched from the inside

In May 2021, two fires were suspicious, one of them at the Oliver Fire Department’s training ground. Someone torched several vehicles which are used in firefighting training on crash rescues and car fires. The other fire was at an abandoned fruit stand on Highway 97.

READ MORE: Cars torched at Oliver FD training ground

Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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