OPP arrests two in connection with suspicious fires

Demolished - A burnt cinder block foundation is all that remained after a suspicious fire razed a barn on County Rd. 13 in October. The fire was one of several suspicious blazes with similar circumstances leading to an arson investigation. (Jason Parks/Staff)

The OPP has arrested two men in connection with a string of suspicious fires in Prince Edward County and the Napanee area.

Police became suspicious in September after several cases involving little-used barns catching fire in the area surrounding Napanee over a six-month period. When a pair of little-used barns on County Rd. 49 and County Rd. 13 were burned to the ground in the overnight hours over a span of less than two weeks in October, there was enough similarity for responders to suspect a link.

On Jan. 2, the Napanee OPP and Greater Napanee fire department were called to a 5 a.m. fire at the Palace Village shopping plaza near Hwy 401. With that fire deemed suspicious, the Office of the Fire Marshal, the Napanee OPP crime unit, and the OPP’s Criminal Investigation branch were called in.

A thorough investigation of that fire, led by Det.-Insp. Dave Robinson culminated in the arrest of two men, aged 33 and 40, both of Greater Napanee. Both accused males face charges of arson, break-and-enter, and mischief under $5,000.  The 33-year-old man also faces four charges of public mischief.  The men were held for a bail hearing in Napanee court.

The investigation remains ongoing and police are still seeking further details.  Anyone with information that may be useful to the investigation can call the Napanee detachment at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.