Sooke man arrested for arson after fire at homeless shelter
Published Thursday, March 25, 2021 2:20PM PDT
VANCOUVER -- A 42-year-old Vancouver Island man has been arrested for arson after allegedly setting a fire in his living area at a facility housing the homeless in Sooke, according to local police.
The incident happened around 7 a.m. Thursday at Sooke Shelter on Otter Point Road, Sooke RCMP said in a news release.
Police said they were initially called to the shelter because "a resident was causing issues." While officers were on their way, they received an update that the suspect "was now lighting things on fire in his living area."
When police arrived at the scene, they could see smoke coming out of the building. The officers began assisting shelter staff with the evacuation of the facility, police said.
While the suspect was identified, he had fled the scene prior to the arrival of officers.
After a search, police found the man on a BC Transit bus departing Sooke. He was taken into custody without incident, police said.
In the release, the commander of the Sooke RCMP detachment, Staff Sgt. Brett Sinden, praised the members for adapting quickly to the situation.
"This was a pretty dynamic and changing situation for the members involved," Sinden said. "They were initially called to a disturbance, arrived to see smoke, and transitioned immediately to evacuating residents from the facility. It was very fortunate that no one was injured, either staff, residents or officers."