Mission RCMP are asking for the public’s help regarding a suspicious fire that damaged the roof at the Edwin S. Richards Elementary School early Tuesday morning.
Shortly after 6 a.m. on Aug. 28, the Mission detachment was alerted that Mission Fire Rescue Service crews responded to a fire at Edwin S. Richards Elementary, at 33419 Cherry Street.
“One of the air conditioning units on the roof close by where the fire was had been forced open and one of the filters was missing,” said Fire Chief Ian Fitzpatrick. “We’ve handed it over to the RCMP for further investigation.”
Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire that could be seen coming from the roof. In their investigation, police officers saw the door on the air-conditioning unit was open, and remnants of a burnt air filter along with an aerosol can were also nearby.
“Someone had to light it. We can’t say for sure the aerosol can was related but it’s suspicious,” said Cpl. Sharon Siluch.
“This fire is of concern considering that school starts next week. It is suspicious in nature and at this time we do not have any suspects.”
She said police canvassed neighbours in the area to see if they had seen anyone or any unusual activity, but so far no one has reported anything, she said.
“So we’re appealing to the public to call us if they saw anything,” said Siluch.
The cost of damages to the school is unknown at this time and the file remains under investigation.
The school is scheduled to open as expected on Sept. 4.
Mission RCMP encourage anyone with information about this fire to contact the Mission Detachment at 604-826-7161 or to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Quote file number 2012- 9690.
– Christina Toth
with a file from the Province