Police are releasing two surveillance videos of a suspect alleging to have started a destructive fire that consumed nine vehicles and damaged others on Wednesday morning.
The clips show someone a bicycle peddling away from the scene.
The fire in the carport behind Roth Towers on Pandosy Street in Kelowna around 4 a.m. on Wednesday forced the evacuation of the apartment building.
Most residents of the apartment building have since returned home. However, work to fix the building’s broken windows and clean up after the smoke is expected to take a long time.
“Fortunately, no one got hurt, but if it was a wooden building . . . it would have been absolutely devastating. The only thing that saved us is the fact that it is a concrete building,” said building manager Keith Nordick.
RCMP said surveillance video from the scene helped police confirm that the fire was arson.
Police said one video “shows a suspect fleeing on a bicycle immediate[ly] after a parked motor vehicle erupts into flames.”
“The fire is aggressive and quickly spreads even before the cyclist can pedal out of view of the camera,” said the police statement.
RCMP think an accelerant was involved in starting the fire and want gas stations to check their records.
“RCMP ask all gas stations in the surrounding areas of this fire scene to conduct a review of their transactions in the hours leading up to the massive blaze,” said RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.
“We are particularly interested in any smaller point of sale purchases, especially those to an individual or individuals who attended the store on foot or on bicycle.”
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