June 11, 2019 3:08 pm

Nanaimo dog walker snuffs out potentially ‘devastating’ arson in park: police

Nanaimo RCMP say the action of a Good Samaritan prevented a fire on this bridge in Bowen park from spreading into "the nearby tinder-dry forest."

Nanaimo RCMP

Nanaimo RCMP are hailing the actions of a quick-thinking dog walker with averting a potentially “devastating” fire in a popular park.

It happened around 6 a.m. on Monday, June 3, where police say someone deliberately set a fire on a wooden walking bridge in Bowen Park.

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Investigators said a local resident was walking his dog when he saw smoke and flames coming from the end of the bridge.

Police said the man ran home to retrieve a fire extinguisher, and managed to mostly knock the flames down.

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He called 911, and firefighters arrived to finish the job and prevent the fire spreading into the “nearby tinder-dry forest,” police said.

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“This was an extremely selfish deliberate act that could have caused significant damage to not only the bridge but to the surrounding forest,” said Nanaimo RCMP Const. Gary O’Brien.

The bridge has been closed to the public.

Anyone with information on the fire is asked to contact Nanaimo RCMP or Crime Stoppers if they wish to remain anonymous.

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