Montreal’s arson squad has been deployed to investigate a string of cell tower fires throughout the Canadian city, yet again only weeks after two suspects were arrested regarding earlier fires. The latest fire, sparked yesterday, was the eighth tower fire near Montreal in about a month, reported CJAD-AM. Quebec’s provincial police arrested two suspects nearly three weeks ago after seven towers were damaged by fire. Whether those in custody are part of a larger group responsible for yesterday’s fire remains uncertain, although police suspect a wider ring is operating.
According to CJAD, Montreal’s fire department was dispatched to the site at 3:45 a.m. The tower, owned by Telus Communications Inc., suffered significant damage and those on the scene reported finding substances that suggest the fire was an act of arson.
Coinciding with the onset of COVID-19, social media has been rampant with conspiracy theories claiming 5G causes the spread of the virus. Despite scientific and medical evidence proving this theory impossible, acts of arson to cell towers have been reported across multiple countries, including the U.S.
The Telus Communications tower is located near a six-story apartment complex. Although no one was hurt, Montreal authorities are concerned about public safety, particularly as a majority of people are currently isolated in their homes.
“When vital 4G LTE infrastructure is destroyed by criminal acts, lives are put at risk by removing the ability for local citizens to call 911,” the company said in an emailed statement to CTV News on Monday morning. “Our networks are more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis in enabling Canadians to stay connected to their jobs, schools, medical help, government services, and loved ones.”