'Suspect siphoning fuel': Man arrested after massive fire destroys 6 U-Haul trucks in London, Ont.
A thief was siphoning fuel from trucks on York Street in London before a massive fire broke out in a storage yard.
U-Haul told CTV News London an explosion occurred at 745 York St. around 1 a.m.
Hours later, a photographer from the London Police Service (LPS) Forensics Division was on scene taking photos of charred vehicles.
“The investigation has been turned over to members of our Street Crime Unit and they're working with the London Fire Department (LFD) in relation to what transpired,” said Const. Sandasha Bough of the LPS.
Citizens called 9-1-1 after seeing the fire.
Neighbour Brandon Palmer captured video of the massive fire at 745 York St. in London, Ont. Six U-Haul trucks were destroyed after a fire started shortly after a suspect was siphoning gas (Source: Brandon Palmer)“At first I thought it was fireworks because people are constantly lighting them off their balconies,” said neighbour Brandon Palmer. “Then my daughter yelled, ‘Dad, the trucks are on fire.’ I looked out and it looked like there were 10 on fire and exploding.”
LFP Platoon Chief Kirk Loveland said it was six trucks that were involved.
“They were fully involved in fire and crews arrived and did an offensive attack to mitigate the fire and stop any further damage,” said Loveland, who explained the trucks' proximity to each other made it difficult.
They also worried about a potential explosion due to open gas vapours.
Burned Jerry cans are on the ground in between vehicles at 745 York St. in London, Ont. on Feb. 8, 2023. A thief was siphoning gas just before a massive fire destroying six U-Haul trucks. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)
“The crews have a hard time working around the vehicles because they're all packed in for parking,” said Loveland. “There isn’t a lot of room to maneuver hoses or get people or equipment into the scene. So we did have to bring in a water supply from a hydrant because there was not much fire going on in these vehicles.”
An employee on scene said he hasn't slept since the incident happened, and told CTV News London to contact company headquarters.
“We are not happy about it but hopefully the person has been caught and this won't happen again,” said David Anstett, U-Haul company president of Western Ontario in a statement.
He added the store is still operating.
A London Police Services forensics photographer takes photos of the charred vehicles in the U-Haul parking lot at 745 York St. in London, Ont. on Feb. 8, 2023. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)“The trucks that were destroyed or damaged are being removed from the lot today, and it's business as usual. We want to thank the London community for its support,” Anstett added.
Police said one person was arrested nearby and remains in custody.
Anyone with information in relation to this incident is asked to call the London Police Service at (519) 661-5670 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Information can also be sent in online anonymously to London Elgin Middlesex Crime Stoppers.
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