2017 Review

Suspicious fires ignite multi-year investigation in Wellington County

After more than a year investigating a series of suspicious fires in Wellington County, Ontario Provincial Police arrested a 28-year-old man from Guelph-Eramosa Township in October 2017.

Although one man has been arrested, police say the investigation continues

Firefighters and police officers in Wellington County dealt with a rash of suspicious fires in 2016 and 2017, including this fire at a vacant house on Third Line in Guelph-Eramosa township. (Jonathan Karn/Twitter)

After more than a year investigating a series of suspicious fires in Wellington County, Ontario Provincial Police arrested a 28-year-old man from Guelph-Eramosa Township in October 2017.

The man was charged with six counts of arson for fires at abandoned rural homes and buildings, including:

Police continue to investigate a number of other suspicious fires in the county and have not said whether the man is a suspect in the remaining cases.

In total, there have been at least 20 suspicious fires on rural properties in Wellington County since September 2016.

In February, the Office of the Fire Marshal joined local police officer and firefighters in their investigation

At the time, investigator Andrea Gaynor said it was "not very common" to see so many fires — 10 at the time — in a relatively short period. 

However, she pointed out that the Fire Marshal's job was only to determine how the fires had been set, not who had set them or if there had been any criminal intent. That, she had said, was up to police.

Police said the 29-year-old man from Guelph-Eramosa was arrested the last weekend in October and was released on bail Monday, Oct. 31.