Saanich Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspect who set fire to part of the Home Depot in Gordon Head on Saturday.
On April 9 around 11:30 a.m., members of the Saanich Police and Saanich Fire Department responded to a report of a fire at the Home Depot in the 3900 block of Shelbourne Street. Upon arrival, crews found heavy black smoke billowing from the store, forcing the temporary closure of the Home Depot and many surrounding businesses in the University Heights Shopping Centre.
Investigators have yet to determine how the suspect started the fire, but Acting Sgt. Jereme Leslie said the blaze caused extensive fire and water damage to the store,.
“What we do know is that it was intentionally set and it was near the paint department, where there are a significant amount of accelerants in that area,” he said. “Very flammable material in that area.”
While it was a busy Saturday morning, Leslie said all patrons and employees were evacuated safely and no injuries were reported.
“What’s frightening for us and quite disturbing is it’s a busy weekend – peak hours for Home Depot,” he said. “And not only did they have their normal weekend influx of people, but they also had a kids workshop on to learn how to build a butterfly house.
“We’re obviously very concerned about this event, and that’s why we’re asking for the public’s assistance in identifying this suspect.”
Saanich Police do not have a description of the suspect, but are working with Home Depot to obtain video surveillance. Witnesses – especially anyone who took video or photos of the incident – are asked to call the police tip line at 250-475-4356.