(COUNTY OF WELLINGTON, ON) -Members of the Wellington County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) along with fire services throughout the County of Wellington have been responding to suspicious fires since September of 2016. Most of these fires had been to abandoned rural homes and buildings in the southern portion of Wellington County.

The Wellington County OPP undertook a comprehensive investigation into these fires. As a result of this investigation, the Wellington County OPP, with assistance from the Wellington County Crime Unit, West Region Criminal Operations, OPP Forensic Identification Services, and Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office, have made an arrest in relation to 6 of these fires.

28-year-old Justin Nicholas Johnathon BEAL of Guelph-Eramosa Township has been charged with six counts of Arson contrary to the Criminal Code. He was released on bail from Guelph Court on 30 October 2017.

Justin BEAL is charged in relation to the following fires:

  • October 14, 2016 house fire at #5230 Third Line, Guelph/Eramosa
  • October 19, 2016 house fire at #5292 Third Line, Guelph/Eramosa
  • February 3, 2017 shed fire at #6873 Highway 7 Guelph/Eramosa
  • February 3, 2017 house and barn fire at #5413 Township Road 3, Guelph/Eramosa
  • June 25, 2017 shed fire at #5324 Wellington Road 125, Erin
  • June 25, 2017 house fire #8813 Sideroad 27, Erin

Wellington County OPP and West Region Criminal Operations are continuing with this investigation.

Anyone with any information about these arsons or any other suspicious fire is urged to contact Detective Heidi Pautsch or Detective Mark Allen at 519 846-5930, or contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip on-line at www.csgw.tips. You may be eligible for a reward from Crime Stoppers of up to $2,000.