Police are investigating the fire that caused $200,000 in damage to the Dollarama store at the Pen Centre as a possible arson. Fire inspector Jim Somerville said the Niagara Regional Police arson task force has taken over the investigation into the Thursday evening fire.
“The fire was deemed to be suspicious in nature,” Somerville said. “The police are doing the investigation now. They have already wrapped up their investigation at the store, and there is a significant cleanup effort underway.”
St. Catharines fire crews were dispatched to the mall around 5:25 p.m. Somerville said it appears the fire was started in an aisle of merchandise in the store, Somerville said. The store’s sprinkler system put the fire out, he said, but smoke resulted in a partial evacuation of the mall.
No one was injured as a result of the fire, and while the Dollarama remains closed for repairs, nearby stores remain open. Somerville said the damage to the store was largely confined to merchandise soaked by the sprinkler system. He said the store could reopen within a week. He also said the incident is evidence of the value of having a working sprinkler system.
“Without the sprinklers, that fire would not have been put out as quickly as it was,” he said.