Police looking for tips on suspicious Rutland vehicle fire

The vehicle sustained moderate fire, smoke and water damage to its interior as a result.

  • Tue Jan 5th, 2016 7:00am
  • News

Police are seeking possible witnesses after a suspicious vehicle fire was extinguished late Monday night.

On Jan 4 at 10:03 pm, the Kelowna RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department responded to a report of a vehicle fire in the north bound lanes of Highway 97 North at Stremel Road.

A white, late ’90s Mazda pickup was north bound on the highway when the driver saw smoke from under the hood, pulled over and called 911. In speaking with the driver at the scene, police detected an odour of liquor on the driver’s breath and entered into an impaired driving investigation.

“The driver, a 26-year-old Kelowna man, refused to provide a breath sample roadside. He was issued a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) for a refusal, his vehicle was removed from the roadway to be impounded for a period of 30 days. The circumstances surrounding this vehicle fire were not deemed suspicious,” said Const. Jesse O’Donaghey, in a press release.

A short time later, at 10:33 pm, the Kelowna RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department responded to a second vehicle fire, this time in the 500 block of Hollydell Road.

“Police learned that a passing motorist saw black smoke in the area and circled back around to investigate when he saw the vehicle ablaze. The witnessed acted quick, he used snow to extinguish the blaze prior to emergency crews arriving on scene,” said O’Donaghey.

Police are considering this fire as suspicious in nature and continue to investigate.

The white Chevrolet pickup truck has been seized by police to be examined by fire investigators as well as the Kelowna RCMP Forensic Ident Section. The vehicle sustained moderate fire, smoke and water damage to its interior as a result.

Police are seeking witnesses, anyone who may have seen any persons or vehicles in the area around the time of the fire is asked to call the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300. Remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net or by texting your tip to CRIMES (274637) ktown.