Flames destroyed a home at 2335 Henderson Ave. on June 25, 2019. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River pair charged with arson following house fire

Eddie Cliffe Jr., 42, and Gwen Olney, 63, charged in connection with fire at Wei Wai Kum reserve

Two Campbell River residents face arson charges following a June 25 house fire on the Wei Wai Kum reserve.

Arrests warrants were issued last week for Eddie Cliffe Jr., 42, and Gwen Olney, 63, in connection with a fire that destroyed the home at 2335 Henderson Ave., Campbell River RCMP said on Thursday.

Olney turned herself in at the Campbell River Courthouse on Wednesday and was released with several conditions. The first court appearance is set for Sept. 9, according to an RCMP media release.

Cliffe turned himself in at the courthouse on Thursday and is awaiting an appearance before a judge, police said.

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Sgt. Dave Johnson said in the statement, police conducted the investigation “quickly and thoroughly” due to the potential danger caused by the fire, notably for first responders and residents living in the surrounding area.

“A house fire that is deliberately set is particularly concerning as it is a dangerous situation that is totally preventable,” he said.

Johnson also thanked the public for providing information, noting that witnesses aided investigators in obtaining the charge approval.

Smoke was visible from miles away when the home went up in flames. No injuries were reported and firefighters managed to prevent it from spreading to other homes.

The fire was fueled by propane cylinders and a number of explosions occurred. One explosion produced shrapnel that narrowly missed firefighters, according to the Campbell River Fire Department.


@davidgordonkoch
david.koch@campbellrivermirror.com

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