Arson suspected in three more fires says Dawn-Euphemia chief

This abandoned home on Aughrim Line south of Alvinston is one of ten in Central Lambton which fire officials believe was set.

There have been three more fires in abandoned buildings which Dawn-Euphemia Fire Chief Dave Williams say appear to be linked to a rash of fires this spring.

The fires started March 17, when an abandoned farmhouse on Langbank Line in Dawn-Euphemia caught fire late in the afternoon.

After that, there was a series of fires across Dawn-Euphemia, Brooke-Alvinston and into Chatham-Kent which were all very similar; old barns or homes which appeared to be abandoned in remote areas which were set on fire. There were nine in all in Lambton.

Then, May 31 at 2 am, Dawn-Euphemia Firefighters were called back to Langbank Road where the suspicious fires began. This time, an old livestock barn which was slated for demolition the next day was in flames.

Williams says after consulting with the owner, firefighters watched over the fire instead of “putting 20,000 to 30,000 gallons of water on it.”

The OPP and the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office as well as Williams believe this fire has the same traits as the others which started in March. And he says the Lambton OPP were out in force once the call came in.

“The OPP was all over the place that night. I was stopped twice,” he says. “They were stopping every vehicle in the area.”

There were also two fires just over the Dawn-Euphemia township line. Williams says in the last couple of weeks Chatham-Kent firefighters dealt with blazes on Huffs’s Corners Sideroad and Esterville Road “both abandoned buildings.”

During the first fires, there were also two abandoned buildings set on fire south of Florence near Bothwell.

Williams is now working on a report for an investigator from the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office who is expected to come to Dawn-Euphemia in the next couple of weeks to examine the evidence in the case.

Williams is working with the fire chiefs from Alvinston, Inwood, Oil Springs and Chatham-Kent on the report. “We all have a common goal; trying to stop this rash of fires.”