Sidney/North Saanich RCMP arrested a man early Tuesday (Dec. 27) morning during what Cpl. Andres Sanchez called an “interrupted arson” in downtown Sidney on Third Street.
“I can’t give any details on it, except that he is not a Sidney resident,” he said. “Police arrived on scene promptly, located him, interrupted the arson and arrested him on scene.”
He added police are trying to determine the motivations of the individual. “It’s an ongoing investigation, therefore I can’t speak too too much to why this happened, but we are looking into the cause and the reasons behind why this fire was started.”
When asked whether the individual has a prior criminal history, Sanchez said he could not comment, noting the investigation is active and ongoing. “But it’s certainly something we are looking into.” The man appeared in court by phone Tuesday afternoon.
Sanchez said earlier police had responded to the 9700-block of Third Street after receiving a report of a break-and-enter to an unfinished building near the Beacon Inn. “Upon responding to the break-and-enter complaint, they located smoke in the building and realized that the building was actually on fire,” he said. Police then called fire emergency crews.
Firefighters from North Saanich and Central Saanich joined their colleagues in Sidney in responding to the fire with news of the fire emerging around 6 a.m.
“While police were on scene, they also located a suspect there. That individual was arrested. We believe that individual is responsible for fire. That person has been arrested for arson.”
Sanchez added that the incident led to damage. “To the best of my knowledge, there is some extensive damage, not from flames themselves, but from water damage (related to the sprinklers and the response of firefighters).”
The damage occurred inside the building, but was limited to one floor based on available information, he added.
“Thanks to the swift response of both (police) and (firefighters), this event was quickly resolved,” said Sanchez. “I am thankful that the building was not occupied at the time and that our first responders were able to manage this event safely and professionally.”
Sanchez said police believe this incident to be isolated. Police are not looking for an outstanding suspects and the public does not face any danger related to this incident.
Sanchez said individuals with information about the incident or the responsible individual can contact Sidney/North Saanich RCMP at (250) 656-3931.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.