Fires prompt community meeting in St. James
A string of suspicious fires in Winnipeg's St. James neighbourhood has prompted a city councillor to call an emergency town hall meeting for residents.
Coun. Scott Fielding will host the meeting Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. inside the old Sturgeon Heights Community Centre — right next door to where one of the fires happened last week.
A new community centre is being constructed next door and equipment stacked inside was set ablaze, causing an estimated $200,000 damage.
It was one of three fires within a short span.
Moments after the community centre fire, emergency crews were called to Thompson Drive and Portage Avenue where a dumpster had been set alight.
Firefighters were called about 30 minutes later to yet another fire at Thompson Drive and Nightingale Road. The blaze destroyed a garage along with three vehicles and two snowmobiles.
Representatives from the city's arson task force and the Winnipeg Police Service will also be at the town hall meeting.
The topics for discussion will include ways property owners can minimize threats.
"You're never going to prevent it all, but I'll tell ya, if there's kind of a community approach to this whole thing, you can definitely prevent [some of] this from happening," Fielding said.
"And as we can see from the numbers, in terms of the spike of arsons [this summer], it's something that people are very concerned about."