Police in Nanaimo are investigating after a fire damaged a section of sewer pipe Thursday. The damage has delayed completion of the sewerage upgrade project until replacement materials can be ordered. (City of Nanaimo photo)

Nanaimo RCMP investigating suspicious fire set in sewer line

Incident on Haliburton Street causes indefinite delay in completing upgrade project

The cost of the damage has yet to be tallied, but a fire set in plastic sewer lines has set back the progress of a joint City of Nanaimo and Regional District of Nanaimo infrastructure project.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday to a fire in plastic sewer lines being installed in the 1000 block of Haliburton Street.

According to a City of Nanaimo press release, issued Friday, the fire damaged the sanitary sewage force main being installed as part of the Chase River Pump Station and Haliburton Street sanitary sewer forcemain upgrades.

The fire, now being investigated by Nanaimo RCMP, damaged a section of pipe that will have to be ordered to be replaced, which will delay completion of the project, which includes installation of the pipe and repaving of Haliburton Street.

“It’s too early to estimate the damage costs or impact to schedule,” said Bill Sims, Nanaimo director of public works and engineering, in an e-mail. “[Milestone Equipment Contracting], the contractor for the RDN and city, will need to order replacement pipe and fittings. There’s a lead time to reorder, which is unknown.”

Until replacement materials arrive, Haliburton Street will be re-opened to traffic, with a gravel surface, possibly by the end of today, Oct. 11.

“It’s an active investigation and we’re looking for witnesses who may have seen suspicious activity in the area,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

O’Brien said police have not determined if Haliburton Street fire is related to another suspicious fire that damaged a car and sales office building of a former car sales lot on the 200 block of Nicol Street early Wednesday.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

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