Two fires at Beban Park this week have authorities concerned.
Firefighters were called at about 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, to a fire in the woods at the Kinsmen Participark at Beban Park.
Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the “significant” fire might have been caused by cooking equipment in a homeless encampment, or a shelter there might have been set on fire.
“If it hadn’t been for the quick response, the fire could have easily spread through the park,” O’Brien said.
He said police are following up on reports about possible suspects who were seen in the area, and said police and Nanaimo Fire Rescue are continuing to investigate.
Also under investigation is a suspicious fire at Beban’s Centennial Building on Tuesday, June 22, at 12:30 p.m. A police press release credited a quick response to that location, as well, which limited the damage in the wooden structure.
“Fire investigators and police who examined the scene believe the fire appeared to have been started by cardboard being piled next to the building, then set on fire,” noted the release.
There were no witnesses to the Centennial Building fire and no suspects have been identified. Anyone with information is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2021-22754.