Halifax Regional Police are investigating a devastating fire after they say someone threw an “incendiary device” at a home in central Halifax, setting it ablaze and forcing adults and sleeping children to escape.
“They only got out with what they were wearing. My understanding, from our volunteers, is that they didn’t even have time to get boots or shoes on,” said Dan Bedell, a spokesperson for the Canadian Red Cross.
The children are seven and 12 years old, he added. The organization put the family in a hotel and is helping with emergency purchases.
Firefighters and em
ergency personnel were called to the 6000 block of Chebucto Road around 11:30 p.m. Monday to find a two-story house on fire.
Police say the fire was deliberately set by an unknown man who pulled up in a white car and then “threw an incendiary device.” The suspect then drove off down Quinn Street.
Severe damage could be seen to the outside of the house early Tuesday morning. Arson investigations remain on scene looking for evidence.
The couple their two children living in the home were able to escape the fire unharmed. The Canadian Red Cross says they are assisting the family.
A tenant living in the upper floor of the house was not in the building at the time of the incident.
Const. Dianne Penfound, a Halifax Regional Police media relations officer, said police haven’t determined if the incident was a random act or a targeted one.
“We can’t really get into the specifics of what the incendiary device is at this point because it’s part of the evidence in this investigation,” she said.
The family does not have tenant insurance, according to Bedell.