Owen Sound fires: Two arrested, police say another expected
Owen Sound police say a 17-year-old male and a 24-year-old female have been arrested in connection with several fires that were allegedly intentionally set Monday morning.
The male, from Chatsworth, has been charged with 16 counts of arson endangering life and five additional counts of arson.
Appearing in court Tuesday, he was denied bail and is scheduled to return to court Aug. 18th.
Officials say the female was arrested Tuesday afternoon near the courthouse in Owen Sound, and further details will be released soon.
Police also say the investigation is continuing and suggest a third arrest is expected.
In a statement, Owen Sound police Insp. Vince Wurfel said, “Our investigation indicates that we are seeking at least one additional suspect. Although we are making positive strides in our investigation there is still much work to be done.
“We have significantly diminished the risk to our community in relation to a re-occurrence of these events, however we would like to remind the community to remain vigilant until all suspects are apprehended.”
Every investigator the Ontario Fire Marshal's Office has was in the city Tuesday to probe the blazes.
Greg Nicol with the Owen Sound Fire Service says, "They're beginning to wrap things up, they're taking their data, they're taking their pictures, they're taking their samples, for what may be a court case coming up."
In total, residents of 15 homes and apartments were displaced after the eight separate fires in Owen Sound and 10 people were treated in hospital.
The fires have reportedly left 23 people homeless, and six of those families were without insurance.
The Hagen and Traplin families were both without insurance, but say it's the lost mementoes that hurt the most.
Sandy Hagen says, "My oldest son died of cystic fibrosis and all my memories of him are all gone in the fire."
Rose Traplin has trouble containing her anger, saying, "He could have killed everybody. Why would somebody do that? We don't know who he is, he doesn't know us, why would he do it."
The United Way is co-ordinating support and donations for the fire victims who have been displaced. Those wishing to make donations can call 211 or visit donatetoday.ca
Fire location breakdown
- 944 2nd Avenue East, 2:45 a.m. - resident extinguishes two small fires in common areas of retail and residential apartment building, minimal damage
- 393 15th Street East, 3:45 a.m. - residential fire, house totally destroyed and houses on each side significantly damage
- 4th Avenue East just south of 15th Street East, 3:45 a.m. - fire at south end of townhouse complex, two structures consumed by fire, occupants assisted, vehicle in parking lot also attempted to be set on fire but minimal damage
- 13th Street and 4th Avenue East, 4 a.m. - shed on property set on fire, spread to adjacent duplex, significant fire damage
- 17th Street and 6th Avenue East, just after 4 a.m. - fire in residential shed, significant fire damage.
- 4th Avenue East south of 13th Street East - arson attempt discovered at shed, fire appears to have extinguished on its own, no serious damage