‘Arson’ attempt drawing concern

Heather Latter

A local family is concerned about what they believe to be an arson attempt at the site of the summer home they’re nearly completed at the 5 Mile Dock Road on Couchiching.
Curtis Hoard told to the Times last week that he went there to complete the installation of windows, and to bring household items, only to find someone had taken their beach chair, placed it under the far corner, which would normally be the last place he would see it, and then lit it on fire.
“That should have burned it to bits, and could have resulted in a huge fire that may have damaged other nearby residences,” Hoard wrote via e-mail.
“With the grace of God and Mother Nature, we found only minimal damage to that corner, not enough to be unsafe,” he noted.
But Hoard added “there is heavy talk” about an individual or individuals in the area who are deliberately burning homes, citing several fires last fall and this past spring which caused extensive damage to homes, vehicles, and other equipment.
Treaty #3 Police Sgt. Gary Lockman said yesterday evening that the Hoard incident is under investigation, but noted these types of cases can be tough to solve.
“There’s not much information,” he remarked. “It’s like any other fire—nobody’s around, no one sees it.
“It’s just a matter of finding out who did it now,” Sgt. Lockman added.
He recalled that in the late spring or early summer, there were two fires reported at abandoned residences.
“They caught on fire. Same thing—it’s under investigation, nobody saw anything.
“It’s just a matter of finding out who did it now,” he said.
Sgt. Lockman also said he’s even hesitant to say those fires should be considered “arson.”