Mission, B.C., arson now a homicide investigation

Mission RCMP say the Integrated Homicide Team has been called in now that investigators have determined a mobile home fire that killed a man was deliberately set.

Fatal fire is one in a series of recent arson fires in Mission

A preliminary police investigation has determined the fire that killed William Philip Murphy Wednesday was likely deliberately set. (CBC)

Mission RCMP say a preliminary investigation by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has concluded that a mobile home fire that killed 86-year-old  William Philip Murphy Wednesday was likely deliberately set.

it's the latest in a series of suspected arson fires that have recently been set in Mission and Abbotsford.

Investigators have not made a formal link between the earlier Mission arsons and this one but Duchesneau says police are very much aware of them.

"We are aware that Mission had a few incidents in the last few weeks involving arsons and for that reason we don't want to take any chances." said IHIT spokesperson Cpl. Dominic Duchesneau. "We want to make sure the public is aware there might be some suspicious activity in their neighbourhood."

When Mission firefighters responded to the mobile home fire in the 32300 block of Lougheed Highway around 5 a.m. PT Wednesday, they found the trailer fully engulfed in flames.

Murphy was found dead inside the home after the fire was extinguished.

"We are asking members of the public to be vigilant and call the Mission RCMP if they notice suspicious activities in their neighbourhood," Duscheneau said.

Police in in Abbotsford said last month they don't believe the fires in Mission are linked to five other suspicious fires in Abbotsford in April.

Arsonist on the loose

Last week Mission RCMP say a homeowner in the 33700 block of Bowie Drive in Mission found his front porch on fire, but quickly extinguished it with a garden hose.

"Down the street, another residence was observed to have fire damage. A short distance away, a trailer parked in the 8500 block of Doerksen Drive was also damaged by fire," said a statement issued at the time by police.

Nobody was hurt in any of the previous Mission fires.

On moible? Click here to see map of 32300 Lougheed Highway