Woman charged with arson for series of North End fires
Winnipeg police have charged a suspect in connection with a series of fires earlier this week.
The blazes were reported on Manitoba Avenue, Magnus Avenue, Burrows Avenue and Pritchard Avenue in the North End between Sept. 10 and Sept. 11.
“A small bin fire, mattress set on fire, a couch – those fires can quickly spread to garages which are often times attached to houses,” said Const. Jason Michalyshen from Winnipeg police.
Pat Downey said his thoughts turned to his elderly neighbour when he heard about a blaze on his North End street.
“You know if our house goes or the block goes up or something, we can get out, but I mean that lady…can she get out in time?” asked Downey.
David Heinrich lives in a triplex on Pritchard Avenue. He said he didn’t know there was a fire in his backyard on Tuesday until emergency responders were right outside his back window.
He said three families live in the triplex and are counting themselves lucky that the blaze was put out before it could hit the homes, although it did spread from garbage in the back to a fence and then a parked car.
There have been more than 200 deliberately set fires in Winnipeg so far this year. About 30 suspected arsonists have been arrested.
Winnipeg police said some of those are believed to be responsible for multiple fires.
While officers admit the arrest of one woman in the latest string of fires wouldn’t solve the city’s arson problem, police said it will have an impact.
“Getting one individual off the street that we believe is responsible for deliberately set fires - that potentially could slow things down significantly,” said Michalyshen.
A female suspect was arrested in the area of Manitoba Avenue on Sept. 11 shortly before 6 a.m.
Crystal Shannon Beardy, 23, has been charged with five counts of arson – damage to property, along with possession of an incendiary material, said Winnipeg police.