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Man arrested in connection with North York car fires

Police have arrested a man in connection with three fires they believe were deliberately set on Sunday and some that were set earlier this month.

The first fire started just before 2 a.m. Sunday in a car on Richard Clark Drive, near Jane Street and Wilson Avenue, in the same neighbourhood where other car fires were reported exactly two weeks ago.

About 20 minutes later, crews were called to another car fire on nearby Calais Avenue. And minutes after that, a third fire flared up in a wooded area near Canton Avenue.

Officers set up a perimeter and brought in dogs to search for the suspect. He was arrested several hours later.

“A big danger is … when you start a car on fire, or a wooded area, if that fire gets into a home when people are sleeping, it could kill them. So that’s a big concern,” said Toronto Fire Capt. Mike Strapko.

“Any kind of arson is a dangerous criminal act.”

Wilfred Akiwenzie, 30, of Toronto, is charged with seven counts of arson and will appear in court on Monday.

The first fire is estimated to have caused about $15,000 in damage. It’s not yet clear how much the others cost.

The Office of the Fire Marshal has been called in to investigate.