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Fire marshal deems destructive Midland house fire arson

Investigators are asking for the public's help in identifying owner of distinctive metal can found at the scene of the blaze

A house fire near downtown Midland Monday evening was deliberately set.

Southern Georgian Bay OPP Const. Aaron Coulter said investigators from the Ontario Fire Marshal's Office, who attended the scene, have determined the fire that destroyed the home at 409 Elizabeth St. was arson.

Coulter said the finding was made in part by the discovery of a five-gallon fuel can found in the charred ruins of the home.

“The can was located in the area of the fire and it doesn’t belong to anyone who lived at the home,” said Coulter, who didn’t say whether the police have any potential leads or suspects.

While he noted the investigation is continuing, Coulter said police are asking for the public’s help in finding out who may have owned the distinctive metal can.

“It would be used to carry accelerants. It’s very distinctive.”

Police and Midland firefighters initially responded to the scene at 8:44 p.m. Monday and observed the home fully engulfed in flames upon arrival.

Nobody was injured in the blaze. Coulter didn't know whether the homeowner has insurance.

No one from the fire department was available to comment.

Anyone with information about the crime or if the can appears to be familiar is asked to contact the OPP at (888) 310-1122. If you wish to remain anonymous please contact CrimeStoppers at or call (800) 222-8477 (TIPS).  


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Andrew Philips

About the Author: Andrew Philips

Editor Andrew Philips is a multiple award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in some of the country‚Äôs most respected news outlets. Originally from Midland, Philips returned to the area from Québec City a decade ago.
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