Homicide team take over Mission arson investigation

An 86-year-old man's death in a mobile home fire earlier this week has now been ruled a homicide.

Mission Fire/Rescue Service and local Mounties were called to a house fire around 5 a.m. April 30 in the 32300 block of Lougheed Highway, east of Hurd Street. Once the fire was extinguished, firefighters discovered the body of William Philip Murphy.

As the investigation progressed, police called for help from the regional Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

At a press conference Saturday afternoon, IHIT spokesman Dominic Duchesneau said there is no indication that this fire and a string of four on April 24 are linked.

"We want to put the warning out there for the public to remain vigilant," he said, and to call police if they notice anything suspicious in their neighbourhoods.

Duchesneau would not share how the fire started, or what led investigators to believe it was intentionally set. No further details about the victim were known.

Mission RCMP Sgt. Shaun Wright said the Mission fires were not connected to a recent spate of blazes in Abbotsford.

IHIT is asking anyone with information about this arson to call 1-877-551-4448. If you wish to remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or send an email to

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