Police expand fire investigation

Third person of interest sought in connection with east Vancouver blaze

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Officials are seeking a third person of interest in a suspicious fire that destroyed a commercial building Friday at 12101 N.E. 28th St. in east Vancouver.

Police are looking for a 16-year-old Hispanic boy, 5-foot-7 and weighing about 140 pounds, with short black hair, according to the Vancouver Police Department. On Friday, he was reportedly wearing knee-length white shorts, a light-blue T-shirt and a light-blue hat, and he was carrying a camera.

On Saturday, officials announced a $10,000 reward for assistance in the case and described two people of interest:

• The first person is a white male, 16 to 17 years old, 5-foot-8 and weighing about 130 pounds, with dark hair in a buzz cut. He was last seen wearing a light-blue hooded sweatshirt, tan knee-length shorts and white shoes. He was holding a skateboard.

• The second person of interest is a white male, 16 to 17 years old, 5-foot-9 to 6 feet tall, with brownish-blond, collar-length hair. He was last seen wearing a gray T-shirt, blue jeans and dark shoes. He was pushing a yellow-and-white mountain bike.

The cash reward is being offered by the Arson Alarm Foundation and the Vancouver Fire Arson Team for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the blaze.

The 5:55 p.m. fire destroyed a vacant commercial building, causing at least $200,000 damage, Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli said. Witnesses told investigators they saw men carrying what appeared to be a gas canister jump a fence near the building a few minutes before the fire broke out.

Scarpelli said crews brought heavy equipment, including backhoes, to the property Sunday, and they will resume their physical investigation of the destroyed building today.

Anyone with information regarding the three people of interest is asked to call the Vancouver Fire Arson team at any time day or night at 360-607-7991, or they can call 911 and ask for the on-duty Vancouver fire marshal.