Saskatoon police investigating 29 suspicious fires over three weeks

Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) said officers in its central division have been investigating a rash of suspicious fires.

In a press release sent on June 1, SPS said there have been 29 suspicious fires in the last two and a half weeks. 

Twenty of those fires took place between avenues Y and K and 22nd and 17th streets.

Officers said several of them have taken place at boarded-up homes.

About three months ago, one of Alisa Thompson’s Riversdale properties was the scene of a fire.

The home was vacant, but the damage was so extensive it still isn’t ready to be occupied.

“It’s a ripple effect, right? It (takes) even longer now to get things dealt with and that’s a huge frustration for anyone,” said Epic Alliance’s co-owner.

The Saskatoon Fire Department said so far this year there have been 50 incendiary fires. 

About 60 per cent of those have taken place at boarded-up homes.

SPS said homeowners and residents should do anything they can to make their homes look like less of a target.

“If you have a property that’s disheveled, that’s in disarray, where there is garbage lying around, I would ask sincerely that it be cleaned up,” Insp. Cam McBridge said.

Epic Alliance is working on putting up fencing around their 400 homes.

Thompson believes the best way to prevent an arsonist from choosing your property is showing that you care.

“The grass is getting cut. The trees — if branches go down, we take pictures. We put work orders in and people are picking them up. Raking the leaves. All of those things add up,” she said.

SPS said it’s under the impression several people are responsible for all the fires that have taken place.

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