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Nanaimo RCMP investigating fire set in house next to the one that exploded

Fire burned through kitchen floor at house that’s been boarded up since explosion two months ago
Smoke is seen coming from the upstairs window of an unoccupied house that sustained damage from a suspicious fire on the weekend. Nanaimo RCMP are investigating. (Mandy Moraes/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue are investigating a suspicious fire in a house located next to a home that exploded earlier this year.

Firefighters responded to a fire in a house in the 300 block of Pine Street at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 1.

The house was unoccupied and had been boarded up since a neighbouring house was obliterated by a gas explosion Feb. 27. Sunday’s fire caused some structural and smoke damage to the interior of the house.

“It’s a vacant house and there was a fire in the house when we arrived,” said Tim Doyle, Nanaimo Fire Rescue chief.

Doyle said there were no injuries and that the investigation into the cause of the fire had been handed over to Nanaimo RCMP.

“Fire crews responded and put out a fire that had burned a hole through the kitchen floor and into the basement,” said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in an e-mail.

O’Brien said police had information that squatters had recently been in the house and that witnesses said a person wearing a brown coat had been seen walking away from the property shortly before firefighters arrived, but was not actually seen on the property.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP detachment non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file #2022-14156.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo RCMP investigating gas explosion as a crime

READ ALSO: House explodes in Nanaimo, injuring 6, none seriously

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