19 suspicious fires deliberately set, says Waterloo fire chief

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    19 suspicious fires deliberately set, says Waterloo fire chief

    WATERLOO — Vicky Lucas makes sure the garage door is locked, the two sliding doors are secured and the car in the driveway is locked.

    Some might consider it paranoia, but the Waterloo woman says she’s being extra cautious and alert.

    “It’s just a habit now,” she said. “We are being responsible for our property.”

    Many in her Lakeshore North neighbourhood would agree after a string of suspicious fires — 19 of them in the neighbourhoods of Lakeshore Village, Laurelwood, Beechwood and in the Northdale area of Waterloo, all in the past eight weeks.

    Waterloo Regional Police and Waterloo Fire say the fires are suspicious and may be linked. The Office of the Fire Marshal is also investigating.

    The strongest link is that “someone is intentionally setting the fires,” said Waterloo Fire Chief Richard Hepditch.

    Some of the fires were initially considered minor, but since Sept. 21 the 19 fires have ranged from a garage fire, a mattress fire, brush fires and even a house fire.

    Waterloo Fire said they have requested police to attend all fire calls.

    Hepditch said the fires have been varied, and at different times of the day, however they were all in the four neighbourhoods which are close to each other.

    “We consider all of them to be significant because of the potential risk,” he said. “They are believed to be set intentionally.”

    Residents and business owners are being asked to be fire safe and vigilant.

    Hepditch is asking that residents ensure smoke alarms are in working…

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