On Sunday, February 19, 2023, at 10:26 p.m., an officer from the Barrie Police Service was on general patrol and as they were passing by St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, which is located at 47 Owen Street, observed that Barrie Fire and Emergency Services were on scene at an active fire at the rear of the church. Additional officers attended and provided traffic related assistance while the fire was being extinguished.
A second fire call was received at 11:08 p.m. as there was an active fire reported in a stairwell of a parking lot located at 90 Collier Street. Then at 11:36 p.m., a third call was received for garbage cans that were on fire between 27-29 Dunlop St. West. These fires were put out by local business owners who used fire extinguishers, but the damage to the garbage cans was significant.
During this rash of fires, Barrie Police commenced a search for a suspect who was identified through the investigative process that was underway. While doing so, a fourth fire was located just before midnight in a pile of discarded garbage bags near 101 Dunlop Street West. This fire was small and was extinguished by the police.
At 12:42 a.m., Barrie Police located the suspect being sought, and a 37-year-old male from Barrie, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with three counts of Arson and Fail to Comply with Probation Order. He was held in custody and will appear by video for a bail hearing later today.
|Prepared by:||Corporate Communications Coordinator, Peter Leon|