The Saanich Police Department and Saanich Fire Department are investigating the scene of a suspicious fire that was reported at the Saanich Baptist Church in the 4300 block of Wilkinson Road.
Church volunteers attended to the church this morning, April 25, at approximately 8:15 am. Upon entering the church, the smell of smoke was noted within the building and the church members immediately began a search for the source of the odour. After nearly 45 minutes, a small charred and smouldering area of cedar mulch was found in the front of the church, within close proximity to a natural gas meter.
Saanich Fire crews and members of the Saanich Police attended to the scene to investigate.
Other than smoke entering the building, there was no apparent damage to the building. Crews from Fortis BC attended to ensure the integrity of their equipment on the site.
The source of the fire is not known at this time and is still under investigation.
There is no clear nexus between this incident and the recent arson investigations that are being investigated. Saanich Police Detectives are still working on the previous incidents and gathering further information.
“Coincidentally, this is the third Thursday in a row where police and fire have responded to a fire of a suspicious nature” Sgt. Steve Eassie says. “We are taking all of these incidents very seriously and will be following any leads that are discovered.”
Residents are still being asked to keep a close eye on their own properties, especially around outbuildings such as sheds and garages. Any recycling or garbage should be stored out of sight if possible, to avoid creating an inviting target.
Anyone with information relating to any of the suspicious fire investigations are asked to contact the Saanich Police tip line at 250-475-4356.
Sgt. Steve Eassie