Fire crews spent over three hours putting out a string of suspicious fires on three Winnipeg streets Tuesday morning.
Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Services (WFPS) says it all started when members were called to a garage fire in the 400 block of Sherbrook Street shortly before 6:00 a.m.
The WFPS says “a number” of garbage bins were on fire nearby when they arrived.
Shortly after, more garbage bin fires were reported on the 400 block of Young Street.
An unoccupied vacant building also went up in flames on the 300 block of Young Street only minutes later.
The city says WFPS put out all the fires quickly, but less than an hour later, they were being called to more garbage bin fires, this time on Sargent Avenue.
One of the fires even jumped to a nearby three-storey apartment block, which was evacuated.
WFPS says no injuries were reported in any case, and damage estimates are still unknown.
The city says the number of fires tends to rise every spring, particularly those that are determined to be arson.
The WFPS says it has responded to a number of outdoor fires over just the past week, and many are considered suspicious.
To combat this, the WFPS’ Community Fire Prevention Partnership, along with Business Improvement Zones and Take Pride Winnipeg work to identify and report properties at risk of arson.
WFPS crews also inspect neighbourhoods throughout the spring and summer to identify fire hazards.
To prevent arson, the city suggests:
- Only putting garbage and recycling carts and yard waste out on collection day.
- Dispose of garbage, yard waste, lumber, and bulky waste properly and quickly.
- Contact 311 to schedule pickup of bunky waste items (such as mattresses).
- Keep garbage, bulky waste, and firewood well away from buildings, especially homes and garages.
- Use motion-activated lights, and keep garage doors closed and locked.
The city has additional fire prevention tips on its website.