Suspect arrested after downtown fire damages restaurant, hotel

A suspect has been arrested after a suspicious fire early Thursday morning damaged a downtown brewpub and an adjoining hotel, but police do not believe the alleged firebug is responsible for any other recent blazes.

Emergency crews were called to the Thompson Hotel in the 600-block of Victoria Street just after 1 a.m. for a report of a fire. Police obtained surveillance footage showing a suspect fleeing after the fire was sparked.

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RCMP Sgt. Darren Michels said the alleged arsonist, a 39-year-old Kamloops man, was nabbed a few hours later.

“A description was provided to all frontline officers and, at 3:20 a.m., a suspect matching the description was located possessing evidence he was responsible for starting it [the fire],” he said.

According to a post from one of the restaurant’s owners on Facebook, the fire was set in a storage shed belonging to the Noble Pig, adjacent to the Thompson Hotel. The post says only minor smoke damage was sustained inside the restaurant.

“It is very disheartening that someone would intentionally start a fire like this in our community, putting others at risk for no apparent reason,” Michels said.

“We are certainly very happy that this fire was observed early and didn’t have time to spread.”

Michels said investigators do not believe the man arrested Thursday is responsible for any other recent fires — including three last weekend. One of them, at a business in the 500-block of Lansdowne Street, is believed to have been set intentionally.

The investigations are ongoing.

© Kamloops This Week



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