Man arrested after Victoria hotel arson injures 6
VICTORIA -- Six people were injured when a fire tore through a downtown Victoria hotel Thursday night.
The fire broke out at the Capital CityCenter Hotel on the corner of Douglas Street and Discovery Street around 10 p.m. Investigators say the fire was intentionally set.
Victoria police were called to the scene before 8:30 p.m. by a man experiencing a mental health crisis. The man told police he was armed and had barricaded himself inside a hotel suite.
"While officers continued to speak to the man from outside his suite and resolve the incident safely, the smoke detector in the suite began to sound and smoke was observed coming from the suite," Victoria police said in a statement Friday morning.
"Officers attempted to enter the suite to rescue the man but were held back by the barricaded door," police said.
Police and firefighters evacuated the building, which houses a mix of regular paying guests and homeless residents who were moved from the city's tent encampments earlier this year.
During the evacuation police arrested the barricaded man under the Mental Health Act and he was taken to hospital.
Four other people were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Several other people, including police, were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.
Firefighters extinguished the flames just before 11 p.m.
The fire was largely contained to the barricaded suite but the third and fourth floors were damaged by smoke. Investigators estimate the damage at approximately $250,000.
Police closed Caledonia Avenue and Discovery Street between Douglas and Blanshard streets.
The Canadian Red Cross has arranged to shelter those displaced from the hotel, according to homeless advocacy group Our Place Society.
Multiple firefighters were knocking down the side of the building and getting people out of the building.— Alanna Kelly (@CTVNewsAlanna) November 6, 2020
People I spoke to said they don’t know where they are going to sleep tonight. A @BCTransit bus was waiting for people nearby to transport people.
(Photo: Tanya Christie) pic.twitter.com/JxX9pkKpHv
“I got out crawling on the floor,” she says. “I looked out my door and saw smoke.”— Alanna Kelly (@CTVNewsAlanna) November 6, 2020
A shocking wake up for people living in this hotel who say it took just 15 seconds for thick black smoke to fill the hallway.
One man was screaming for people to follow his direction out. pic.twitter.com/csL9CcnPVt
Dramatic fire takes over the side of Capital City Centre Hotel where homeless people have been living in for months.— Alanna Kelly (@CTVNewsAlanna) November 6, 2020
Flames were licking out the building and could be apartment buildings nearby.
Residents tell me these units have sliding doors and are on the “first floor.” pic.twitter.com/1T77DFFGU7