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:
- On Oct. 14, 2016, at a house on Third Line in Guelph-Eramosa.
- On Oct. 19, 2016, at a house on Third Line in Guelph-Eramosa.
- On Feb. 3, 2017, at a shed on Highway 7, west of Guelph.
- On Feb. 3, 2017, at a house and a barn on Township Road 3, west of Guelph.
- On June 25, 2017, at a shed on Wellington Road 125 in Erin.
- On June 25, 2017, at a house on Sideroad 27 in Erin.
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.
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.