The back of a Campbell River commercial building in an alley near Chances Casino was scarred by fire after flames broke out early Monday morning.
“On arrival, we had fire extending up the exterior wall of the building up into the roof area and beyond so a quick action by the crews knocked that down and we were able to keep it from extending down into the building,” said Campbell River Fire Chief Thomas Doherty.
The fire occurred at the rear of Shot in the Dark Cafe at 940 Island Highway.
According to Campbell River RCMP, the fire was set by accident by a homeless woman whose shopping carts caught fire and then ignited aerosol cans in the carts making the fire even more intense.
Heather Gordon Murphy owns a business in the same building and is President of the Downtown Campbell River Business Improvement Association.
“It’s heartbreaking that this is the way that some people have to live,” she said. “I’m assuming that they were cooking drugs or doing something like that. There’s drug paraphernalia around here all the time which again is a concern which is sad, very sad.”
Campbell River RCMP is also investigating two other incidents from the last few days.
Officers responded to a call of an assault with a weapon near Simms Road and Island Hwy South at 9:11 Saturday night.
A man and his wife heard two people on their property and went to investigate with a baseball bat but the woman was seriously injured.
“Homeowners had caught two people checking out their yard and trying to gain access to their vehicle and confronted them. A physical altercation ensued and a bat was allegedly taken from one of the homeowners and used to strike her with it,” said Campbell River RCMP Constable Maury Tyre.
Police arrested two 19-year-old males nearby and they are due to attend court at a later date.
The homeowner suffered a broken arm.
“Although we know people’s first instincts are to protect their property, we need to remind citizens there are significant risks involved in confronting some people,” said Constable Tyre. “In this case, unfortunately, the situation turned violent and the homeowner was injured.”
Police are also investigating an incident in north Campbell River Monday morning where shots were fired from a vehicle in the 2700 block of Woodburn Road.
“Parties from two separate vehicles got involved in an argument and there was a physical altercation which eventually ended with one of the individuals shooting a firearm at the other vehicle. Nobody was struck,” said Tyre.
Police say all the parties were known to each other and police say the suspects are known to them as well and are asking them to turn themselves in.