Suspected arsonist caught

UPDATE 3:06 p.m.

RCMP have arrested a man they suspect of setting not one but two fires across the city early Tuesday.
RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department responded to the area of Leckie Road and Baron Road after receiving reports of a man lighting bushes on fire. Firefighters worked quickly to extinguish the blaze and prevent it from spreading.

After the blaze was doused, RCMP spoke to witnesses and gathered evidence on the apparent arson.
Shortly after 8 a.m., investigators tracked the suspect to a business located on the 1100 block of KLO Road. An officer spotted the arson suspect outside the business, but the suspect fled on a bicycle.
“Our police officer stayed at the scene after she spotted smoke emanating from the area of the front entrance to the store,” states Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey of the Kelowna RCMP. “She located, removed and quickly extinguished a burning piece of material that had been placed amongst numerous propane tanks. Thankfully, no one was injured as a result of these reckless acts.”
Police contained the area and then broadened their search.
The suspect, a 26-year-old Kelowna man, was taken into police custody without further incident along Pandosy Street, near Rose Avenue. He remains in police custody at this time and faces a number of potential charges.

UPDATE 7:53 a.m.

The Canadian Tire on Leckie is now open and it's business as usual after a brush fire was doused early Tuesday morning.

One tipster tells Castanet multiple witnesses indicate they saw a person walking along the sidewalk at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday morning with an aerosol can and lighter setting fire to the bushes.

The tipster also indicates the person they saw allegedly starting the brush fire is a regular in the area.

RCMP have been informed and are investigating the early morning fire.

UPDATE 7:42 a.m.

Kelowna fire crews managed to get a brush fire outside of Canadian Tire on Leckie Rd. under control quickly.

The Kelowna Fire Department received multiple calls about the brush fire that was ignited in the cedar trees on the side of the building. Platoon Captain Kelly Stephens tells Castanet, "the fire is suspicious in nature and the RCMP has taken over the investigation."

ORIGINAL 6:51 a.m.

Police and firefighters are on the scene of a fire outside the Canadian Tire store in Kelowna.

Several bushes are burning in landscaping along the Banks Road side of the building.

Details are so far few, but traffic appears to be blocked as crews deal with the blaze.

It's not yet known what caused the fire.

More to come


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