Flames climb into the early morning darkness as tire shop burns east of Grand Forks Thursday, Jan. 27. Photo: Submitted

Flames climb into the early morning darkness as tire shop burns east of Grand Forks Thursday, Jan. 27. Photo: Submitted

Arson suspected in Thursday morning fire that destroyed Grand Forks-area business

Mounties’ investigation draws in specialist squad from Nelson

Grand Forks RCMP suspect arson behind a fire that destroyed a tire shop east of the city, according to Sgt. Darryl Peppler.

Mounties and firefighters were called to the fire on the 6400-block of Highway 3 at around 5:15 a.m Thursday, Jan. 27. The ensuing blaze quickly overran Tire Wire, a tire shop and with an attached garage. Dep. Fire Chief Stephanne Dionne said the building contained stacks of rubber tires and an unidentified vehicle when it went up.

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Dionne said the fire likely started in front of the shop, where Peppler said “an accelerant” was used to torch the building.

“We suspect it was intentionally set,” Peppler told The Gazette.

An RCMP forensics unit from Nelson spent around three hours collecting evidence at the scene, but Mounties hadn’t identified any suspects or made any arrests as Thursday afternoon.

Grand Forks RCMP meanwhile canvassed the area for witnesses, later reviewing CCTV footage taken by cameras near the scene, Peppler said.

“Our investigation is in its infancy,” he said Thursday.

Mounties routinely work with Grand Forks Fire/Rescue (GFFR), but Peppler said the RCMP’s findings would be used to support a prosecution if the provincial Crown were to lay criminal charges.

No one was hurt in Thursday’s fire, according to GFFR.


 

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laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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