Man arrested over suspicious fire at Bras d'Or business
Cape Breton Regional Police are investigating a suspicious fire at Scott MacNeil Motors on Villa Drive in Little Bras d'Or.
The office building, which is alongside the Trans-Canada Highway, was heavily damaged in the fire Saturday night.
Florence volunteer fire Chief Dave Julian said six different passersby spotted the smoke from the highway and called 911.
The first call was at 10:06 pm.
"We got on scene at 10:12. There was heavy smoke coming from the building but no visible flames," Julian said. "It spread from one room and then right up to the ceiling and into the roof rafters."
Julien said it took them two hours to douse the flames and put out hotspots.
He believed the fire started in the main lobby area of the business.
Police said no one was inside the building at the time.
Police believe the fire was set and investigators are treating it as an arson, with assistance from the forensic identification unit and fire marshal.
"In this case it was very obvious it was a set fire," said police spokesperson Desiree Vassallo.
She said police are following up on evidence collected from the scene as well as information from witnesses in the area.
This is the second time Scott MacNeil's business has been the target of a suspicious fire. In February 2018, seven travel trailers were burned at an RV storage site on Church Road.
"Too early to say at this point if there is any connection between the two incidents," said Vassallo. "Right now they are being treated as separate investigations. If something comes across during the course of the investigation that identifies a connection, then that would be pursued," she said.
There have been no arrests in either fire.