Loading articles...

Police investigate spate of midtown car fires

Police are looking for a suspect after a spate of car fires near Bayview and Moore avenues on Friday morning.

Emergency crews were first called to Moore, west of Bayview, around 3 a.m. and found several car fires.

Police said 12 vehicles and a garage on Burnham Road were torched. The residents got out unharmed, but police said damage could be in the range of “five or six figures.”

At least six of the cars are write-offs and the others had smoke damage.

In one case, an umbrella in the backseat of a car was set on fire, Toronto Fire said. The umbrella melted and produced a thick smoke which blackened the car windows.

In the aftermath, police found a car with a can of beer and a box of matches inside of it.


A burned-out car, with a beer can and a matchbox inside, was found on Evergreen Gardens on May 9, 2014. CITYNEWS/Bert Dandy.

Det.-Sgt. Daniel Sabadics said all of the targeted cars had been left unlocked, and the suspect lit paper or clothes on fire without using an accelerant.

He asked homeowners to check their cars for damage and to scan the footage from their video monitoring systems between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.

“Anybody that has video, review your video and let us know if you have anything that you see on there, anything suspicious,” Sabadics said.

“Whether they’re approaching a vehicle or even if it’s just somebody walking by your residence between two and five in the morning, that’s peculiar in itself at that hour.”

He said a robbery at a local convenience store happened around the same time and could be linked.

“It appears that if [it] was the same party, they set the fires heading eastbound toward Bayview, which is where the Hasty Market is at Moore … and then did the break-and-enter, which is the time frame we have,” Sabadics said.

It’s alleged the suspect in that case stole lottery tickets and cigarettes and fled west on Moore.

He is a white man in his 40s with grey hair. He was wearing dark clothes, a dark baseball cap and yellow running shoes.

Police are asking people in the area to be aware of their surroundings.

“I need neighbours to be vigilant [and to] report any suspicious activities or parties day or night,” Sabadics said.

“To remain vigilant especially in the wee hours … secure both your vehicle and your garage.”

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office was called in to investigate due to the lives at risk.

In the fire contained to the garage, investigators are trying to verify whether smoke alarms were working.

No injuries were reported as a result of the fires, police said.

With files from Kevin Misener and Momin Qureshi, 680News, and Tammie Sutherland, CityNews


A resident, who did not want to be named, captured these images of a fire in midtown on May 9, 2014.