One of Nanaimo’s Tim Hortons coffee shops is expected to be closed for months after being set on fire in the early-morning hours today.
Several witnesses saw the blaze spreading at the Northfield Road café at about 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2.
Reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson, said firefighters arrived quickly and were able to extinguish the flames “before they could do extensive damage.” According to a police press release, most of the fire damage was to the exterior, but there was “significant water damage” to the interior, as well.
“It appears the fire started near the front doors and then spread along the wooden beams to the top of the building,” noted the release.
Police note that they are following up on reports of other suspicious fires in the area the same morning, including one outside the Super Save Gas Station at Bowen and Northfield roads and the Waves Car Wash on Northfield.
O’Brien said witnesses were able to provide information pointing RCMP to a suspect; however, that individual was not located despite police patrols in the area.
RCMP shared an image of a suspect in the gas station fire and O’Brien said the fires “are most likely related and started by the same individual or persons.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP detachment non-emergency number at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2022-26537.
Nanaimo RCMP shared an image of a suspect who allegedly set a dumpster on fire at a gas station at Bowen and Northfield about half an hour before the arson at the Tim Hortons on Northfield… pic.twitter.com/61hXpYzcWz
— Nanaimo Bulletin (@NanaimoBulletin) August 2, 2022