OPP have arrested a 28-year-old man following six suspicious fires throughout the County of Wellington over the last year.
Justin Beal, of Guelph-Eramosa Township, was arrested over the weekend and charged with six counts of arson. He was released on bail on Monday.
The charges stem from suspicious fires between Oct. 14, 2016 and June 25, 2017
- Oct. 14, 2016 – house fire at 5230 Third Ln., Guelph-Eramosa Township
- Oct. 19, 2016 – house fire at 5292 Third Ln., Guelph-Eramosa Township
- Feb. 3, 2017 – shed fire at 6973 Hwy. 7, Guelph-Eramosa Township
- Feb. 3, 2017 – house and barn fire at 5413 Township Road 3, Guelph-Eramosa Township
- June 25, 2017 – shed fire at 5324 Wellington Rd. 125, Erin
- June 25, 2017 – house fire at 8813 Sideroad 27, Erin
Since September 2016, emergency crews have responded to over 20 suspicious fires throughout the county. Most of the fires had been to abandoned rural homes and buildings in the southern portion of Wellington County.
OPP Const. Joshua Cunningham said the investigation into the unsolved fires, which includes several OPP units and the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office, is still ongoing.
“If we conclude that Mr. Beal was involved with those, other charges would be added,” Cunningham said. “We’re not ruling out any accomplices and we’re not ruling out the fact that there could’ve been a second arsonist.”
Anyone with information about any suspicious fires is asked to call Det. Heidi Pautsch or Det. Mark Allen at 519-846-5930 or contact Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122.
OPP also confirmed Beal was also arrested on Jan. 20, 2017 for impaired driving after he was found sleeping in his car in a live lane on Wellington Road 50 near the Seventh Line.