This van suffered damages estimated at $5,000 during one of four suspicious fires in Saanich Wednesday. Submitted by Michele Sealy.

This van suffered damages estimated at $5,000 during one of four suspicious fires in Saanich Wednesday. Submitted by Michele Sealy.

Saanich fire department fought four suspicious fires on Halloween

Most serious fire caused $5,000 damage to a van

Saanich firefighters battled four suspicious fires Wednesday night.

Perhaps the most significant fire happened at around 8:23 p.m. in 300 block of Burnside Road East, where a van parked in a driveway sustained damages estimated at $5,000 after an arsonist set fire to the vehicle’s plastic front grill.

Residents living in the house with the parked vehicle managed to put out the fire with a garden hose, before crews arrived, said Assistant Chief Rich Pala of the Saanich Fire Department. Saanich Police now has custody of the vehicle.

Crews had been in action along Burnside Road about half an hour earlier after somebody had lit a plastic lattice on a fence in the 200 block of Burnside Road West. Pala said a passer-by extinguished that fire before the arrival of crews.

While relatively close, investigators currently do not believe that these two fires are related.

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Crews also responded to a fire in the 1500 block of Cedar Hill Cross Road, where somebody lit pieces of discarded carpet laying underneath a three-ton moving van, he said.

Several hours earlier crews responded to a structural fire on Santa Rosa Place, where the blaze caused estimated damages of less than $1,000 to a door.

Pala declined to release additional details about the incident in light of an ongoing police investigation.

While all fires are suspicious, they are not connected, he said.

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Pala also dismissed any suggestions that Halloween played a part. None of the incidents involved Halloween fireworks, he said. While plenty of people were out and about Wednesday night, nothing substantiates the theory that Halloween might have given people licence to act as they did, he said.

Call-outs concerning Halloween fireworks have actually been dropping, he said.

Saanich’s colleagues were also busy as two fires caused estimated damages of around $100,000.

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The fires happened near the Saanich border near Mayfair Shopping Centre, with both happening in close proximity to each other in the 3100 block of Alder Street.

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