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Burnaby business destroyed by fire; owner alleges arson

A Burnaby business was destroyed by fire on May 29, 2024. A Burnaby business was destroyed by fire on May 29, 2024.
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A fire that destroyed a Burnaby business early Wednesday morning was deliberately set, according to the owner.

Firefighters were called to Save Big on Tires, located on Imperial Street near Royal Oak Avenue just before 3:30 a.m. Assistant Chief Dan Walton told CTV News that 36 members attended the second-alarm blaze. No one was injured but the business was gutted.

Norbert Bartus owns the business, as well as three others of the same name in B.C. He told CTV News that security video captured the alleged arson.

"On the video we saw some guy, it looked like he was wearing a mask. He came with a gasoline car and broke whatever windows at the front by our office, poured in the gasoline and lit fire to it, he said, adding that the building "just exploded" afterward.

Bartus says he has no idea if or why his business was targeted.

"I was wondering: Why would anyone do such a thing? I'm a little bit in shock to be honest," he said.

He also said he is fearful for the business' other locations and worried about his staff who are now out of a job.

"All the workers have families, right? All the employees have found this. So everyone's getting affected," he said.

However, he is relieved that no one was inside and no one was hurt or killed.

The Burnaby RCMP, in a statement, said it is too early in the investigation to either rule out or confirm arson.

"Should the investigation lead us to that conclusion, our next step would most likely be an appeal for public assistance," a spokesperson said in an email.

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