Firebug not to blame for latest Mayo fires: RCMP

A suspected Mayo firebug may still be on the loose, but the alleged arsonist no longer appears to be active.

A suspected Mayo firebug may still be on the loose, but the alleged arsonist no longer appears to be active.

A suspect was arrested in connection with a house fire last month, but RCMP Cpl. Chris Hutchings said that suspect is not tied to the string of suspicious blazes that have happened in the community over the past couple of years.

The house fire investigation is ongoing to determine if charges will be laid, Hutchings said.

The house fire is also unrelated to an apparent electrical fire that burned the Mayo drop-in centre to the ground the same weekend.

“It’s definitely a difficult loss,” said Nacho Nyak Dun Chief Ed Champion, speaking about the drop-in centre.

“There are all kinds of people who used that facility, from youth to elders.”

Mayo RCMP and the Yukon fire marshall’s office investigated the blaze, and determined that an electrical problem was the culprit. That was a weight off of Champion’s shoulders, he said. When he’d first heard about the blaze, he was initially worried it may have been the work of the suspected arsonist.

While the community figures out how to replace the drop-in centre, Champion said the First Nation administration building is open as a temporary drop-in space.

Last spring the RCMP announced they had identified a “person of interest” in connection to 20 suspicious fires around the community between 2011 and 2013.

There were five suspicious fires in Mayo in a month last spring. The most notable was the burning of an abandoned home by the river. Fires were also set at the community recycling centre and the cemetery. No charges have been laid in connection with the firebug’s work, but no new fires have been reported in the case either, according to Yukon RCMP.

Contact Jesse Winter at jessew@yukon-news.com

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