Arson is suspected in a structure fire in what was otherwise a quiet Halloween night in West Prince.
Just after 1 am on Nov. 1, RCMP received a call reporting an abandoned house fire on Route 14 in Cape Wolfe.
“The house was fully engulfed (and) on the ground,” said Deputy Fire Chief for the O’Leary Fire Department Jason Greenan. “There was no one around. It was an abandoned cottage.”
It took about 15-20 minutes to extinguish the blaze. The West Point Fire Department responded for backup, and was on standby in case another call came in.
In Tyne Valley, the fire department got a call about a tire fire. This was their only call of the night.
While those were the only incidents on Oct. 31, there were some Halloween hijinks in the lead-up to the big night.
West Prince RCMP suspect arson in a structure fire in St. Lawrence on Oct. 28. The Miminegash Fire Department responded and the abandoned house was destroyed.
Fires like these can post a serious problem for local departments by keeping crews away from actual emergencies.
“If we have to do a search to make sure there’s no one in or something, that’s putting extra harm on the firefighters, extra risk,” explained Mr Greenan. “We were 15 kilometres from town. There could be a real call at the same time.”
Another fire department reported a quiet Halloween as rain and high winds may have kept people indoors.
“It was the best night I’ve seen in 30 years,” said Tignish Fire Chief Allan Gavin, whose department can be active during Halloween. “We never had any calls.”
West Prince RCMP is seeking information on the two structure fires. They ask the public to contact the detachment at (902)853-9300. If a person wishes to remain anonymous, they can give the information to PEI Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online, or through the organization’s free app.