Police are on scene of a dump truck on fire on Lougheed Highway.

Explosion sparks New Year’s Eve arson investigation in Vernon

Fire started in same area as drive-by shooting

A small explosion near a residential building New Year’s Eve is being investigated as arson.

RCMP and firefighters were called to the 3700 block of 24th Avenue Dec. 31 around 6 p.m. after a fire was discovered near the outside wall of the residential building.

“Occupants of the building managed to extinguish the fire and prevent its spread prior to the arrival of emergency responders,” RCMP media relations officer Const. Chris Terleski said.

No injuries were reported and the exterior of the building sustained a small amount of damage as a result of the fire.

“The cause of the fire remains undetermined; however, preliminary findings from the ongoing investigation suggest the fire may have been deliberately set and police are investigating the incident as an arson.”

The explosion took place less than two days before a drive-by shooting at the residential complex in the same area. But police have not made a link between the two.

“When conducting an investigation, we are always looking for any possible connections to other ongoing investigations,” Terleski told the Morning Star. “However, at this point, we have not uncovered any evidence or information that suggests the incidents are related.”

If you witnessed the incident or have information that may assist in the investigation, and have not yet spoken to police, contact the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP at (250) 545-7171 and quote file 2021-24517.

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