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Crime

7th arson charge laid against man accused of Wellington County fires

Justin Beal has been charged with seven counts of arson in relation to suspicious fires around Wellington County in 2016 and 2017.
Justin Beal has been charged with seven counts of arson in relation to suspicious fires around Wellington County in 2016 and 2017. Justin Beal / Facebook

OPP have laid another charge of arson against a 28-year-old man accused of lighting fires around Wellington County.

Police arrested Justin Beal, of Guelph-Eramosa Township, in October 2017 and charged him with six counts of arson.

RELATED: Arson charges laid in 6 suspicious fires around Wellington County

Beal was released on bail on Oct. 30 but he was arrested again on Tuesday in relation to a suspicious fire on Fife Road in Guelph-Eramosa Township on Dec 5. 2016.

All seven 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
  • Dec. 5, 2016 – barn fire at 7070 Fife Rd., 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
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Since September 2016, emergency crews have responded to over 20 suspicious fires throughout the county. Most of the fires had been in abandoned rural homes and buildings in the southern portion of Wellington County.

READ MORE: Hospital staff threatened with gun at Guelph General

After Beal’s arrest in October, OPP said the investigation into the unsolved fires was still ongoing.

“If we conclude that Mr. Beal was involved with those, other charges would be added,” said Const. Josh Cunningham at the time. “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.

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