Suspicious fires being investigated in Sydney

Laura Jean Grant
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This building containing three apartments was extensively damaged in a fire early Saturday morning. All occupants of the building were able to escape without injury. This fire was one of three suspicious blazes reported in the area around the same time.

TC MEDIA

Arson investigators have been assigned to the case of three suspicious fires that occurred in the same Sydney neighbourhood around the same time early Saturday morning.

"Right now we're looking at it as if the three (fires) may be connected to each other," said Cape Breton Regional Police Staff Sgt. Max Sehl. "The investigators will investigate as if there is a connection, and if somewhere along the investigation it shows there isn't, then they'll separate the investigations."

The most serious of the three fires occurred at a building containing three apartments on Lorway Avenue in Sydney around 12:45 a.m. Saturday. The apartments were occupied at the time of the fire but all residents were able to escape without injury.

"Everyone made it out and that's the best thing of all. It could have been a lot worse," Sehl said, noting it's his understanding that most residents of the building are staying with family or friends.

The building was extensively damaged in the blaze.

By Sunday morning, the home had been boarded up but security remained on the scene. Flower baskets still hung from a front deck unharmed and bicycles were parked next to a side door, but much of the front of the home was blackened from the fire, with siding having melted away.

Sehl said Sunday that the fire marshal and identification unit of the regional police had completed their scene examination of the building and property, and that the case had been turned over to the arson unit.

Those officers are also investigating two other fires in the area.

Just half an hour before the Lorway Avenue blaze, police were called to the scene of a shed fire on nearby Argyle Street. The shed was destroyed but no one was injured.

A third fire in the area was also called in to police early Saturday morning. According to police, a Lorway Avenue homeowner reported that someone had set fire to a wreath attached to the front door of their home. The owner was able to extinguish the fire, but minor damage to the door was caused.

Anyone with information about the fires is asked to contact Cape Breton Regional Police at 563-5151, or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 562-8477 or www.capebretoncrimestoppers.ca.

"We would really appreciate any assistance," said Sehl.

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