Two Swift Current individuals have been charged with arson, while a third party is still at large.

Earlier this week on Monday, both City RCMP and the Swift Current Fire Department responded to a fire call just after 8 a.m.

The structure found to be on fire, housed both Winks Convenience Store and Marty's Auto Detailing, as well as U-Haul trailer rentals. All three have ceased operating due to damages sustained to the building during the blaze.

After an investigation that involved both emergency services, as well as the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency, it has been revealed that a security camera had managed to record the people believed to be involved in the incident.

Staff Sergeant Evan Gordon of the City RCMP, clarrified that some information has not yet been released about the two suspects.

"Two people were identified quite quickly as suspects," shared Gordon. "Although their exact roles are still part of the investigation and that sort of information we won't be able to release due to the ongoing court process."

Evan Gordon speaking at city council.Evan Gordon has been in charge of the local RCMP detachment since early April, 2021. (photo by Hayden Michaels)

Both 31-year-old Joshua Neufeld and 27-year-old Austin Hill are in custody, awaiting their next video court appearance on November 16, 2022.

A third individual believed to be involved is simply described as 5'11", with glasses. Not much else is known about their appearance. RCMP are asking anyone with information about this individual to please contact them or Crimestoppers with any tips.

With there being a recent string of fires in the Swift Current area, the concern that these individuals in question may be the ones responsible for previous incidents is understandable. At this time, there is no evidence linking them to any other fires. Deputy Fire Chief for the Swift Current Fire Department, Pete L'Heureux, shared a while ago that there was no evidence of arson being the cause of the previous infernos around town, with investigations pointing to other sources of ignition.

"Something that I've spoken about in the past is the usefulness of CVT footage of video surveillance cameras," remarked Gordon. "That particular tool was quite instrumental in helping us to identify and eventually locate the two people that are currently under charge for this. I just want to encourage people that if you're looking at ways to prevent property crime, damage to your property, and things like that, there are quite a few low-budget. options. It's a pretty small investment to help make it a little bit more likely for us to identify people involved in these criminal acts."

City RCMP, the Swift Current Fire Department, and the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency are all still investigating this incident, with hopes of identifying and locating the third member of the suspect party.