Grand Forks RCMP are recommending criminal mischief charges against a woman suspected in connection with a recent string of false fire alarms at a city apartment building, according to Sgt. Darryl Peppler.
Fire department officials were called to three such alarms at the building on the 2100-block of 68th Avenue: twice on Sept. 21, a third time on Sept. 23, according to George Seigler, Chief at Grand Forks Fire/Rescue. All three alarms were traced to a hallway alarm which had been pulled at the same spot on the building’s second-floor, Seigler and Dep. Chief Rich Piché told The Gazette.
“It’s like crying wolf,” Seigler said, explaining that false alarms tie up the department’s limited time and resources. Department officers aren’t authorized to issue fines when they suspect a fire alarm has been pulled deliberately, but Seigler said he was helping to draft a new city bylaw outlining service fees for what he called “nuisance alarms.”
Residents wouldn’t be billed for alarms tripped by smoke detectors, he said, qualifying that repeat offenders should be charged.