A suspected arson fire caused in excess of $100,000 damage in south Nanaimo on Tuesday, March 23. (Photo courtesy Clint Allen)

A suspected arson fire caused in excess of $100,000 damage in south Nanaimo on Tuesday, March 23. (Photo courtesy Clint Allen)

Arson suspect arrested after fire destroys garage and vintage car in Nanaimo

27-year-old suspect with ‘significant mental health issues’ remained on scene, say RCMP

Nanaimo RCMP have a man in custody following a suspected arson in Harewood.

The fire was allegedly set in a garage and workshop behind a home on the 400 block of Eighth Street early Tuesday morning. Firefighters and police were called at about 4:30 a.m. by the homeowners who reported a man had been on the back porch of their home and was still on their property.

“The homeowner confirmed a suspicious male was in the driveway who may have started the fire,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

Firefighters arrived to find the garage and carport fully engulfed in flames and police arrived to find a suspect on the property who allegedly claimed he was anticipating alien contact. He was arrested on suspicion of arson.

“The suspect, a 27-year-old male of no fixed address, was arrested at the scene without incident and lodged in cells,” O’Brien said. “Members suspect there are significant mental health issues. Our mental health liaison officer has been looped in to this and will be following up before any reports to Crown are completed.”

Cost of the loss from the fire is estimated at more than $100,000, which included the building, tools, fuel and a rare edition of a 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle car.

READ ALSO: Arson suspected in fire that destroyed Nanaimo second-hand store

READ ALSO: Arson suspected after fire at business on Nanaimo’s Bowen Road



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A suspected arson fire caused in excess of $100,000 damage in south Nanaimo on Tuesday, March 23. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

A suspected arson fire caused in excess of $100,000 damage in south Nanaimo on Tuesday, March 23. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)