London

Vehicle torched at London's Ontario Museum of Archaeology

London police are investigating an arson after one vehicle was torched and another was damaged by the fire in the parking lot outside the Ontario Museum of Archaeology.

Latest incident has Museum staff considering video cameras

London police are investigating after someone set fire to a field van in the parking lot outside the Ontario Museum of Archaeology in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning. (Holly Martelle/Timmins Martelle Heritage Consultants)

London police are investigating an arson after one vehicle was torched and another was damaged by the fire in the parking lot outside the Ontario Museum of Archaeology. 

Investigators say a woman who was out walking her dog in the Wonderland Rd and Aldersbrook Rd spotted the flames and called 911. 

"One of the vehicles is totalled," said Rhonda Bathurst, the museum's executive director, on Monday. "The other one was damaged by close approximation." 

Bathurst said the museum has had some problems with someone deliberately setting small fires on its property as recently as this summer. 

'Nothing to this escalation'

Police say a woman walking her dog on Sunday morning spotted the flames and called 911. (Holly Martelle/Timmins Martelle Heritage Consultants)

"[There have been] a few incidents where they've been lighting some small fires on the property that we've tried to let the neighbourhood know about, but nothing to this escalation." 

The vehicles are owned and used as field vehicles by London-based private archaeology firm Timmins Martelle Heritage Consultants.

They had just been decommissioned by the company and were being stored on museum property until spring, according to the firm's principal archaeologist Holly Martelle. 

"Luckily for us, our season is over and the vehicles are just sitting there right now, but had this happened in the summer, it would have been devastating," she said. "It's a good chunk of our fleet. It's two of our newest field vehicles."

Because of ongoing problems with vandalism and arson, the Ontario Museum of Archaeology is looking to invest in security cameras in order to prevent further incidents in the future.