Update: Teen arrested after suspicious fire at Dunsmuir middle school

Colwood school evacuated before instructional day began

Dunmuir middle school principal Yushy Wallace

A teen will appear in court after a fire at Dunsmuir middle school Tuesday.

The staff and students were evacuated before at 8:40 a.m. on Sept. 18 after smoke was discovered coming from the roof above the main foyer.

Classes were scheduled to begin at 8:50 a.m.

“It looked like a couple of logs smoldering,” said principal Yushy Wallace.

Colwood fire department was alerted at 8:35 a.m.

“The fire was confined to the surface of the roof, it was a small smoldering fire,” said John Cassidy, assistant fire chief.

“We put the fire out quickly but we had to  open up the roof to see if the fire travelled. But it didn’t travel out of its origin.”

Cassidy credited the school for having an efficient, pre-planned evacuation program.

Classes resumed when the fire was extinguished and the school was deemed safe.

“All I can say is it has been determined the fire is suspicious in nature,” Cassidy said.

After photos were released to the public that day, information was received to help police identify and locate a male seen in the surveillance video footage. He spoke and cooperated with investigators.

“Further information received by the public, allowed police to make an arrest in the investigation into the fire,” said Acting Sgt. Kathy Rochlitz, West Shore RCMP.

Wednesday afternoon, RCMP arrested a 15 year-old West Shore youth for arson.

He’s to appear in Western Communities court on Dec. 19.



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