Grand Forks Fire/Rescue responded to four suspicious trailer fires at a rural property off Granby Road between Tuesday Nov. 3 and Wednesday Nov. 4, according to officials.
Investigations by Deputy Chiefs Stephane Dionne and Rich Piché list the causes of the fires as undetermined. The reports, which state the trailers were unoccupied when they caught fire, have been filed with the British Columbia Fire Commissioner’s Office.
Deputy Chief Piché explained that the department labels fires “suspicious” when investigators can’t find a heat source.
“We say a fire is suspicious when it wasn’t caused by something malfunctioning or by some kind of accident, like when someone leaves a candle burning [or] when it appears that something out of the ordinary caused it to happen.”
The department’s volunteers were called out to 9175 Granby Rd. early Tuesday morning, Nov. 3, after a fifth-wheel trailer and a mobile home separately caught fire some time before 6 a.m. They were back on the scene Wednesday morning, when a third trailer caught fire roughly 30 metres (100 feet) away from the first two.
The department was then called back at around 4:30 p.m., when Chief George Seigler said the shells of each burned out trailer were ablaze.
Fighting Tuesday’s fires cost Grand Forks Fire/Rescue around $15,000, according to Dionne. The money comes from the department’s operating budget, which is funded by the City of Grand Forks and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary. Roughly half the crew members from the department’s 2nd Street hall turned out Tuesday morning, Seigler told The Gazette.
“We have limited resources,” Seigler added. “And if they’re continually drawn away to fight suspicious fires, then that leaves fire coverage lacking in other parts of Grand Forks.”
Seigler said the department responded to a suspicious trailer fire at an adjacent lot at 9375 Granby Rd. on Thanksgiving Sunday, Oct. 11. Investigators reported the cause of that fire as undetermined. Grand Forks Fire/Rescue was called back to that scene after receiving two burn complaints the following week, he added.
Grand Forks RCMP attended all of this week’s fires, according to Sgt. Darryl Peppler.
The BC Conservation office is investigating Tuesday’s trailer fires, Peppler said.