Nanaimo RCMP ‘frustrated’ by elusive arsonist after Walmart diaper aisle set on fire

Nanaimo RCMP 'frustrated' by elusive arsonist after Walmart diaper aisle set on fire
Photo: Google Maps/screenshot
Nanaimo's Walmart Supercentre is seen in this Google Maps screenshot.

Police in Nanaimo say they’re frustrated the arsonist who set the diaper aisle ablaze inside the city’s Walmart Supercentre, shuttering the store for days, is still on the loose.

On Feb. 22, around 1:45 p.m., Mounties were notified of the fire inside the department store on Island Highway North, according to Nanaimo RCMP in a news release Wednesday.

Police say the blaze was set intentionally, and while an employee was able to douse it quickly, the smoke damage was so bad that the store was forced to be evacuated and closed for several days to allow for proper ventilation.

“While the investigation is moving forward, investigators have not been able to identify a primary suspect, and that is frustrating,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, media relations officer with Nanaimo RCMP, in the release.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the RCMP detachment’s non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Yet, this isn’t the first arson incident at a Vancouver Island Walmart.

On Oct. 1, 2021, a man started a fire in the toilet paper aisle of the retail chain’s store in Campbell River. About a week later, local RCMP said they had arrested the 27-year-old suspect and were seeking charges of arson, theft and mischief against him.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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