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UPDATED: Arson suspected in three Mission fires

A local couple says someone deliberately attempted to set their home on fire Thursday morning.

“I’m angry someone tried to do this to my family,” said Bill Rourke, who was alerted to the danger by a neighbour loudly banging on the front door after 1:30 a.m. Thursday.

“It’s a pretty scary feeling knowing someone tried to burn your house with your family in it.”

The Rourkes live in the house on Bowie Drive with their two teenaged daughters and two other adults. Their home is one of three damaged by fire that morning, and was the most affected.

They’re thankful their neighbour discovered the fire before it got worse. The man was returning home from work around that time and saw someone standing on the street, Rourke said.

“He had a shower and when he came out, he smelled smoke.”

The neighbour’s front porch was on fire, and he also saw that the van parked in the Rourkes’ driveway was in flames.

The vehicle was parked close enough to the house for the flames to spread to the attached garage, just below Bill and his wife Tanja’s bedroom window.

Tanja got everyone out of the house, while Bill moved the family’s Jeep, which was also parked in the driveway, to a safer location.

“Thank God nobody was hurt, and it wasn’t more serious,” said Tanja.

“It was fortunate the guy came home from work when he did,” Bill added. “He basically saved our lives.”

Tanja called 911 around 2 a.m., but fire trucks were already on their way. Their neighbour managed to put out the fire on his front porch with a garden hose.

A trailer parked in the 8500 block of Doerksen Drive, just south of Bowie Drive, was also damaged by fire. Mounties believe all three incidents are related. The suspect is described as a heavy-set white male, 5’8” to 5’9” and wearing a grey jacket.

Anyone with information about these fires is asked to call Mission RCMP at 604-826-7161 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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