NEWS
05/03/2014 04:30 EDT | Updated 07/03/2014 05:59 EDT

Mission, B.C., arson now a homicide investigation

Mission RCMP say a preliminary investigation by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has concluded that a mobile home fire that killed 86-year-old  William Philip Murphy Wednesday was likely deliberately set.

it's the latest in a series of suspected arson fires that have recently been set in Mission and Abbotsford.

However, police have not made a link between this fire and those and police in in Abbotsford said last month they don't believe the fires in Mission are linked to five suspicious fires in Abbotsford in April.

When Mission firefighters responded to the mobile home fire in the 32300 block of Lougheed Highway around 5 a.m. PT Wednesday, they found the trailer fully engulfed in flames.

Murphy was found dead inside the home after the fire was extinguished, say police.

"We are in the very early stages of this investigation and we are working in partnership with Mission RCMP and Fire to establish what happened," said IHIT spokesperson Cpl. Dominic Duchesneau.

"We are asking members of the public to be vigilant and call the Mission RCMP if they notice suspicious activities in their neighbourhood.”

Arsonist on the loose

Last week Mission RCMP say a homeowner in the 33700 block of Bowie Drive in Mission found his front porch on fire, but quickly extinguished it with a garden hose.

"Down the street, another residence was observed to have fire damage. A short distance away, a trailer parked in the 8500 block of Doerksen Drive was also damaged by fire," said a statement issued at the time by police.

Nobody was hurt in any of those fires.

Investigators have not made a formal link between the earlier Mission arsons and this one.

On moible? Click here to see map of 32300 Lougheed Highway