The RCMP has confirmed that the fire that occurred on January 1 2023 at a local Airdrie business in the city's downtown is being investigated as arson at this time.
"Nobody was in the building when it was lit on fire," an RCMP spokesperson said.
The RCMP said that it is too early in the investigation to determine whether this fire is connected to the other previous fires that occurred last week.
Airdrie RCMP previously stated that on January 1, they received a report of a structure fire on 1st Street and Center Avenue in the City of Airdrie at 4:57 a.m. The city's fire department said that initially, roads were blocked with hoses, but would later confirm that the fire was under control and confined to one business. No injuries were reported.
In the span of a week, Airdrie fire crews have now responded to three fires. On December 27, 2022, the city's fire department was dispatched to two separate garage fires hour apart. A garage fire that occurred in the early morning hours on Tuesday, December 27 at the 500 block of 1st Street N.W. has been since deemed suspicious by the RCMP and the investigation is continuing. Another fire that occurred hours later is also under investigation. No injuries were reported in any of the fires.
On Monday, January 2, All Fitts Auto released a statement on social media confirming it was their business that had been engulfed in flames.
"For those that haven’t heard, we had a major setback to start the new year. 17 years to the day and I’m absolutely gutted," the social media post on Facebook stated.
According to Airdrie Fire Chief Mike Pirie, several witnesses called in to report the fire. When the Engine from Veterans Fire Station arrived there was heavy fire in one area of the building and smoke throughout the entire structure. There is no word on the amount of damages.
The Airdrie Fire Department is also reminding residents to be vigilant when driving by near active fire scenes, especially when it comes to where hoses are. In the case of the January 1 fire at All Fitts Auto, the city's Fire Chief Mike Pirie had alerted residents that roads were blocked due to hoses being deployed. However, the Airdrie Professional Firefighters Association took to social media to remind residents of the dangers of running over a fire hose.
"This week Airdrie firefighters had two separate instances of our main supply line being run over at fires. A total of 7 lengths (700 feet) of hose had to be removed from service and tested before it could be used again."
They underlined that this can take firefighters and their equipment out of service for several hours.
"Alternatively if it is pulled out of service it can cost our taxpayers thousands to replace. We know it's inconvenient when our hose is in your way, but please respect the dangers that someone driving over the hose can cause."
The investigation into the January 1 fire is ongoing.
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