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Grande Prairie Fire Marshal confirms downtown fire was a result of “nefarious activity”

A recent fire that occurred in downtown Grande Prairie is being treated as Arson by the Grande Prairie Fire Marshal.

On February 1st, the Grande Prairie Fire Department responded to reports of a dumpster fire that was spreading quickly to the exterior of a building near Market Manor in the Central Business District in Grande Prairie. As a result, the building was evacuated and no homes were lost and no injuries occurred.

Grande Prairie Fire Marshal Chris Renyk says the investigation in partnership with the RCMP is still underway; however, it “can be confirmed” that the blaze was set intentionally.

“It was a great save on behalf of the fire crews, but again that was nefarious activity, we can confirm that,” he says.

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Renyk says the fire can be attributed to a number of factors, the main being the fact that the dumpster itself was combustible.

“It wasn’t a metal dumpster and the radiant heat and direct flame impingement in its surroundings and underneath was unfortunate and that attributed to more of an associated accumulation of mass,” he says.

The Fire Marshal adds that there seems to be an uptick in “criminal-related” activity for the fire department to deal with.

“Right now I think we have an increase in criminal-related activity and it always seems to have ebbs and flows with the weather,” he says. “The majority of dumpster fires are created through nefarious activity, intentionally set Arson fires.”

Residents and business owners are asked to remain mindful of where their dumpsters are located near their structures and make sure dumpsters are locked and behind fences.

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