Investigators are looking for a suspected arsonist in Nanaimo after four cars were set on fire early Wednesday morning.
Three of the vehicles were parked at Piper’s Lagoon and another was on McGirr Road, just a few kilometres away in Nanaimo’s north end when they were seen with flames shooting from them. The crime has left the victims of the fires at a loss of what to do next.
The peace of Nanaimo’s idyllic Shack island is shaken after a suspected arsonist targeted the vehicles of people staying there Wednesday.
“I was awoken by a bang and then I heard another one and I looked out my back window there and I saw the big fireball,” says Shack Island summer resident Dave Vance.
Bruce and Judy Barrett’s Volkswagen van that they had travelled here on vacation from the Yukon in was one of those consumed by the flames. “We were hoping to do a nice leisurely trip across Canada as far east as New Brunswick and then work our way back and be back in the Yukon sometime in October, we’re not exactly sure what our plans are at the moment,” says Bruce Barrett.
“Well pretty upset yeah,” says Judy Barrett.
Because their van which they parked in a turnabout in sight of Shack Island, now is a burned out shell after a suspected arsonist targeted it and two more cars parked here, at 3:30 Wednesday morning.
“You’re helpless right, because you’re here there’s nothing you can do,” says Dave Vance.
Then an hour and a half later another car was set fire on McGirr Road.
“The cars were fully engulfed at Piper’s at 3:30 and then the fourth car was fully engulfed at McGirr at 5:00 to 5:30,” says Cst. Gary O’Brien of Nanaimo RCMP.
Due to the quick actions of neighbours and fire crews the fires were stopped from spreading. Though a neighbouring homes fence was also badly damaged by the flames. Along with the summer vacation plans of the Barrett’s who aren’t sure what they’ll do now without their van.
“Right now as its very, still very fresh we’re not sure how we’re going to solve this problem that we now have,” says Bruce Barrett.
The RCMP is looking for help, to catch those responsible.
“And hopefully develop some leads by witnesses or people saw cars or people in the area,” says Cst. O’Brien.
As the summer residents of Shack Island, wonder why someone would do this and how to get back to the peace of mind and calm they came here for.