String of west-end Toronto fires suspected arson, police say (Metro News)

In an article published on November 30, 2017, Metro News discussed the suspected arson in the west-end area of Toronto where several fires have recently taken place. On November 21, I held a public meeting where we shared fire prevention tips and the importance of having working smoke detectors on each floor of your home.

 

You can view the article below or here at: http://www.metronews.ca/news/toronto/2017/11/30/string-of-west-end-fires-suspected-arson-police-say.html

String of west-end Toronto fires suspected arson, police say (Metro News) 

Police and fire officials say there have been six fires in the area since early October.

This Little Free Library was set ablaze in a suspected case of arson on Armadale Avenue in Swansea on Nov. 4. Toronto police are investigating a string of arson that have hit the west end this fall.

CYNTHIA REASON/METROLAND

This Little Free Library was set ablaze in a suspected case of arson on Armadale Avenue in Swansea on Nov. 4. Toronto police are investigating a string of arson that have hit the west end this fall.

 

Authorities are investigating half a dozen west-end fires this fall as suspected arsons, saying they seem to be connected.

The most recent fire, which engulfed the front of a house on Weston Road, took place early Wednesday. Other fires in the area have involved a dumpster filled with construction waste, a mattress leaning against a garage, a recycling bin and a wooden box used as a free library.

“The fires we’ve identified since early October have all occurred in approximately a two- to three-kilometre radius of Sarnia Avenue,” said Larry Cocco, division chief of fire investigations.

“Because of the MO, the frequency and the location, we are treating these as arsons,” said Det. Shawn Elliott of Toronto police. He said the situation seems to be "getting worse."

“Whoever it is is getting bolder,” Elliott said. “The last two, the whole house has been engulfed in flames.”

A fire on Nov. 12 has been the only one to result in injury so far. One person had first- and second-degree burns, while another resident of the Sarnia Avenue home suffered smoke inhalation, Det. Elliott said.

Ward 18 councillor Ana Bailão held a public meeting on Nov. 21. Residents received fire-prevention tips and were assured the fires were being taken seriously.

Bailão has asked Toronto Fire to conduct inspections of each house on Sarnia Avenue, according to a statement.

“The most important thing is to always have a working smoke alarm on every level of the home so they can get early warning and get out,” said Cocco.

Police and fire officials said the public should report any suspicious activity or persons in the area.

“We’re just trying to educate the public for their own safety while we investigate,” Elliott said.

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