An empty abandoned trailer burns underneath the underpass below the Trans-Canada Highway near Carlin school on Tuesday evening, Feb. 12. (James Murray photo)

UPDATE: Utility trailer destroyed by fire had been stolen

Burning trailer spotted near Carlin school in Tappen, arson suspected

Police have provided more information regarding a suspected arson that destroyed an abandoned utility trailer near Carlin Elementary Middle School Tuesday night.

Sgt. Scott Lachappelle of Salmon Arm RCMP states the trailer was reported stolen on Jan. 29 from Blind Bay, and the theft is still under investigation.

Just past 6:30 p.m. Feb. 12, passerby James Murray spotted flames on the underpass below the Trans-Canada Highway just west of Carlin school.

He stopped because he thought a vehicle might have gone off the road and caught fire. A local resident arrived at the same time he did. She had just called the fire department.

Related: Salmon Arm firefighters extinguish vehicle fire on Trans-Canada

Related: Name emerges for man killed in Penticton mobile home fire

Burning was a large utility trailer, the type that can be used for construction or pulling snowmobiles.

Murray said the tailgate on the trailer was down and the trailer was completely engulfed in flames.

Deputy chief of the Shuswap Fire Department, Tyler Barrett, says the trailer was fully involved when firefighters arrived.

However, he said a female witness reported that when she drove by a few minutes earlier the tailgate was up and there was no fire. When she came back after dropping her daughter at Carlin Hall, the tailgate was down and the trailer was on fire.

“Between 6:30 and 6:35, someone had opened the tailgate and started the fire,” Barrett said.

He said there was nothing inside the trailer and he isn’t sure what was used to start the blaze.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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