1. #1
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    Default One For The Arson Investigators

    Fire raises suspicions
    Blaze at Railyards construction project destroys six townhouses

    Jeff Bell, with files from Kim Westad Times Colonist


    Wednesday, March 17, 2004

    Acting project manager George Zeeman, left, talks to developer Chris LeFevre as they survey the damage.

    CREDIT: Darren Stone, Ray Smith, Times Colonist

    Fire engulfs townhouses under construction at the Railyards development site on Tyee Road in Vic West early Tuesday.

    CREDIT: Darren Stone, Ray Smith, Times Colonist

    Victoria Fire Department investigator Myles Anderson says blaze at Railyards construction site may have started close to the Galloping Goose Trail. Police are investigating.

    CREDIT: Ray Smith, Times Colonist

    An early-morning blaze that ripped through the wooden framework of six townhouse units in Victoria's Railyards project Tuesday has been termed suspicious by fire officials.

    "The police are now involved," Victoria Fire Department investigator Myles Anderson said late Tuesday afternoon. Forensics experts from the Victoria Police Department had been at the waterfront site in Vic West earlier in the day, but only as a precautionary measure to photograph damage in case suspicions were raised as the investigation went on.

    Anderson said the fire may have started at the point where the townhouses were closest to the Galloping Goose Trail.

    "We're looking at that end of the building because the damage decreases as it comes back this way (back from the trail)," Anderson said. "Fires will burn a little more intensely at the point of origin, they'll consume all the fuel and then they'll start to move away."

    The $80-million Railyards project is skirted by the Galloping Goose and lies between the Point Ellice Bridge and the Selkirk Trestle. It will eventually have 85 townhouses, 351 apartments, 46 live-work units and 11,000 square feet of commercial space.

    Further clues about the fire could be revealed once damaged areas are demolished, Anderson said.

    The fire, phoned in to the fire department at 1:47 a.m. by on-site security staff, was punctuated by two loud explosions that shook buildings for blocks around.

    "There was a couple of very large propane tanks," Anderson said.

    "Of course they went 'boom, boom,' which wakes everybody up. So by 2 o'clock there were a lot of people around."

    Residents as far away as Quadra and Finlayson reported feeling the explosion and seeing a cloud of smoke rise above the fire. Tammy Spencer, who lives in a Gorge Road East apartment, said she woke with a start after hearing bangs so loud "they sounded like two train cars colliding."

    The 35-year-old woman, who moved to Victoria from Ontario two weeks ago, couldn't believe it when she looked out from her balcony.

    "It was like fireworks going off."

    The fire drew many people outside. Paul Blackett heard the bangs at his home near Tillicum Mall, and looked out to the lit sky.

    "You could see the glow bouncing off the smoke."

    He grabbed his camera and drove toward the fire, chunks of ash flying in the air as he got closer to the flames.

    Police appeared to be searching people, he said, asking to look in the pockets of the group of people who gathered to watch the early morning flames.

    Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control quickly after positioning engines on each side of the building, and managed to save five of 11 connected townhouse units.

    "I think the fire department did a good job," said George Zeeman, acting operations manager for Campbell Construction. "We're carrying on. There's two rows of townhouses there so we're still full-steam ahead on the second row. There's six townhouses that are damaged and there's 11 altogether in that row, so we're carrying on with the other five.

    "We'll have to wait until it's cleaned up and then we'll assess the damage to the concrete foundations."

    Anderson said the overall "fuel load" for a fire was limited "but it's a construction site, there's lots of combustible materials around."

    No one was hurt in the fire. The amount of damage has yet to be determined.

    It was third time unlucky for developer Chris Lefevre.

    He had already endured two fires in his two brick heritage buildings at 536 and 532 Herald Street in downtown Victoria.

    The 1997 fire did extensive damage at 532 Herald and a spectacular 2002 blaze gutted the building at 536. But LeFevre persevered, and both restoration projects were completed.

    Just a few hours earlier at about 9:30 p.m. Monday, Victoria firefighters contended with a housefire virtually next door to the Railyards on Arthur Currie Lane. Anderson said the fire was accidental, and may have started in the chimney. Damage was extensive. The lone occupant of the home escaped unhurt.

    Copyright 2004 Times Colonist (Victoria)
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  2. #2
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    Default

    Sounds like ELF to me. imo
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Originally posted by stm4710
    Sounds like ELF to me. imo
    Might your "opinion" be because I posted the article detailing the arrest of one of the USA's Most Wanted in the ELF thread, and that I hinted before any news articles were available about the Victoria condo fire, that there might have been some weird coincidences with such a fire coming on the heels of this fellow's arrest??????????

    Because there certainly isn't any indication in this article that the motive for the "possible" arson was environmental or that ELF was in any way suspected of being involved.
    September 11th - Never Forget

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    Originally posted by RspctFrmCalgary


    Might your "opinion" be because I posted the article detailing the arrest of one of the USA's Most Wanted in the ELF thread, and that I hinted before any news articles were available about the Victoria condo fire, that there might have been some weird coincidences with such a fire coming on the heels of this fellow's arrest??????????

    Because there certainly isn't any indication in this article that the motive for the "possible" arson was environmental or that ELF was in any way suspected of being involved.
    Huh? Hate to burst your over inflated bubble, but I dont follow your every post---kinda hard when you are on my ignore list.


    Because there certainly isn't any indication in this article that the motive for the "possible" arson was environmental or that ELF was in any way suspected of being involved.
    Yes there is, there is plenty of reasons why, to me I belive ELF is involved.

    Or the fire could have been caused by a security gaurd doing the "Hero" type of arson.

    To me it seems like ELF.


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    WAIT??? If there on your ignore list how did you read that post that they wrote??? Hmmmmmmm...
    Andrew
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    New Jersey

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    Originally posted by Engine58
    WAIT??? If there on your ignore list how did you read that post that they wrote??? Hmmmmmmm...

    Ding Ding Ding!! We have a winner!!!

  7. #7
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    RspctFrmCalgary
    03-17-2004 09:33 PM This person is on your Ignore List. To view this post click [here]
    That what you see when they are on your list, another forum member said to look at it.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

  8. #8
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    Oh my gosh don't I feel special, I'm on Jesse's Ignore List
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
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    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  9. #9
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    Damn, I'm jealous.

    and I still think RspctFrmVictoria has a nice sound to it. Puts a certain picture in my mind.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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