Comox Valley RCMP have arrested a suspect in connection with a dumpster fire set on the weekend.
At shortly after 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, a frontline officer was on patrol in downtown Courtenay and came across a dumpster that had been set on fire behind a business on 8th Street.
While approaching the fire, the officer surveyed the scene and found a man nearby. The officer then arrested the man as a suspect for arson.
At press time, according to the court docket, the suspect had yet to appear in court on formal charges. Police could not comment on any other details, such as whether the incident might be linked to other cases. At this time, they can only say the investigation is continuing.
In late March, the Courtenay Fire Department told the Record that they have had a series of fires started in dumpsters or trash cans this year — 16 since the start of the year by that point. The department confirmed Tuesday morning they have had three files since that time, with two in April and one in May.
At present, there are no known links or suspects.
“It’s just an ongoing investigation,” said Deputy Fire Chief Kurt MacDonald.
When investigating, he said, the fire department looks for patterns such as grouping of fires or timing of incidents.
“With dumpster fires, it’s a little bit more of a challenge to determine cause,” he said. “Pretty much all the evidence has been consumed by the time we get there.”
It can then be difficult to determine factors such as whether an accelerant was used, but they do also look for other evidence such as security camera footage to provide clues.
“The same thing the RCMP are looking for, basically,” MacDonald added.