Three years later, the footage can still startle.
A masked and hooded figure holding a jerry can douses the side of a building with fluid. The person then lights something and throws it at the building.
The object hits a Muskoka chair, which bursts into flames. The wall of the building soon follows, and in moments all the viewer can see is the fire engulfing the property.
Norfolk County OPP released the footage on social media on Sunday, the third anniversary of the arson attack on a home on Hastings Drive in Long Point.
“The video is absolutely shocking,” acting Sgt. Ed Sanchuk told The Spectator in an interview.
“This could have had life-ending consequences.”
Police say the attack happened just before 1 a.m. on June 26, 2019. The homeowner was asleep inside as the suspect poured the accelerant and started the fire.
The homeowner awoke and managed to escape the blaze, hoisting buckets of water up from Lake Erie to douse the flames until the fire department arrived.
Sanchuk said no person of interest has been identified in this case. Investigators hope releasing the video again will spark someone’s memory.
“Somebody in the community is aware of this,” Sanchuk said.
He asked people to pay attention to the clothing worn by the person in the video and to the vehicle leaving the scene.
While clothes and cars change over the years, Sanchuk said the perpetrator may bear more permanent evidence of their actions that night.
“This person may have suffered some kind of burns,” he said.
The arson is classified as a cold case, but Sanchuk said investigators are still hopeful for a tip that leads them to the culprit.
“Cold cases are never closed,” he said.
“We will leave no stone unturned and follow up on any information provided to the investigators.”
J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator