A fire at the Saanich Fusion's Cordova Bay clubhouse is prompting the soccer club and police to ask the public to keep an eye out for vandals.
At about 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22, a few parents whose children were training on a nearby soccer field saw flames shooting up to a metre high under a covered area of the clubhouse.
The quick thinking group rushed to extinguish the blaze, which was consuming a pile of lost-and-found clothing.
It’s yet another incident of “generic vandalism” on a Saanich Fusion site, said club president Barrie Keefe.
“It’s just lucky the parents of a Fusion youth team were there and saw it,” Keefe said.
We’re hoping neighbours can be vigilant and report anything suspicious they see.”
Saanich Police responded shortly after and searched around but could not locate anyone definitively linked to the incident, said Sgt. Steve Eassie.
Witnesses reported a man in his 20s, who was smoking next to the clubhouse, appeared responsible for setting fire to the clothing, which was piled on an outside table.
A person of interest is described as a white male in their 20s, 6 feet to 6’1, weighing about 180 to 190 lbs and wearing a tan jacket and pants.
“No one saw him starting a fire but someone saw him put something on it,” Eassie said.
Police are recommending the club store any lost and found items inside and install motion detector lights.
The Saanich Fusion organization has been the target of petty vandalism over the past 13 months, with several incidents being reported at their Tyndall Drive clubhouse. Vandals littered the field with equipment when a door to the Gordon Head location was left open last year.
In another incident, the high quality all-weather pitch was sliced open and nets were cut from the goal posts, costing hundreds of dollars.
“Again this week, we had a small tree bent over and damaged on the Tyndall grounds, which has happened before,” Keefe said.
“It’s a substantial enough tree that it must have taken two to three people. It’s generic vandalism, and it’s a persistent problem we’re having that we just want to get the word out there and let people know.”
The Cordova Bay clubhouse is located at 5383 Lochside Dr.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Saanich police at 250-475-4321.