St. Leonard's Catholic School in Brampton, ON. Google Street View

Suspects sought after fire at Catholic school in Brampton

  • May 12, 2020

A weekend fire suspected to have been deliberately set and an accompanying vandalism spree has caused about $8 million in damage to a Brampton Catholic school.

Peel Regional Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying suspects believed to have set the fire at St. Leonard’s Catholic School May 9. Police say the suspects did a considerable amount of damage to classrooms, electrical systems and other areas before setting fire to the office area. It’s estimated it will take about 12 to 18 months to repair the damage.

No injuries were reported.

“Our school is a source of much pride to St. Leonard students and staff, past and present,” said St. Leonard’s principal Celiza Ribeiro. “We are shocked to learn of the extent of the damage and that the fire may have been deliberately set.”

Emergency services were alerted to black smoke coming from within the school around 5:45 p.m. and firefighters were quickly able to extinguish the fire. Further investigation found the damage in classrooms.

Students have not been attending the school for about two months because of the lockdown due to the coronavirus.

“Because we are operating in a distance-learning environment, we do not expect significant impact on the continuity of Catholic learning for St. Leonard’s students and learning/teaching will continue as scheduled,” said the Dufferin-Peel Catholic school board in a statement.

Police are asking for assistance from neighbours in the heavily residential area and request neighbours share any video surveillance or dash cam video from between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. They can contact 22 Division at (905) 453-3311 ext. 2233 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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