North Cedar Fire Department responded to a structure fire Thursday, April 2, on Barnes Road. The fire is suspicious and a suspect has been arrested. (File photo)

Nanaimo man arrested after allegedly setting house fire

Firefighters arrived to find mobile home ablaze on Barnes Road in Cedar on Thursday

Nanaimo RCMP have a 65-year-old man in custody after he allegedly returned to the scene of suspicious mobile home fire.

The fire broke out at approximately 1:30 p.m. Thursday on the 2500 block of Barnes Road in Cedar, south of Nanaimo.

North Cedar and Cranberry fire departments responded and discovered the structure ablaze upon arrival. B.C. Ambulance Service, Nanaimo RCMP and B.C. Hydro attended, as well.

“There was fire damage to the back bedroom and bathroom and hallway and pretty serious smoke damage and heat damage to the rest of it,” said Percy Tipping, North Cedar Fire Department chief.

The mobile home was unoccupied at the time and fire crews were able to contain the blaze to the back portions of the structure.

“We managed to contain it to the back third of the entire thing,” Tipping said. “It’s still standing, if you want to call it that. I don’t think anybody will ever live in it again.”

There were no injuries and no damage to other structures. The fire was considered suspicious in nature, so Nanaimo RCMP were called in to investigate.

“While officers were present, a male returned to the property and admitted to starting the fire,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in a press release. “He was arrested by officers for arson, then transported to the Nanaimo RCMP detachment where he remains in police custody.”

The suspect is expected to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo today, April 3, and the investigation is continuing.

TODAY’S MOST-READ: No more ferries will sail from Departure Bay during COVID-19 pandemic

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