Man charged with arson in deadly Prince George motel fire

Charged for fatal motel fire

RCMP have charged a man with arson and criminal negligence causing death in connection with a Prince George motel fire that killed three people in July 2020.

Justin Kyle Aster, 35, is facing three counts of criminal negligence causing death, one count of arson in relation to an inhabited property and one count of arson damaging property.

The fire at the Econolodge Motel, located at 910 Victoria St., broke out sometime before 9 a.m. on July 8, 2020. Roughly two dozen people were evacuated, but three people died in the blaze.

A police investigation into the fire began almost immediately.

“Investigators in our Serious Crime Unit have put many long hours into this file and are proud to be able to bring a suspect forward to the courts in relation to these three tragic deaths,” Prince George RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Cooper said in a press release.

Aster will remain in custody until his next court appearance. Aster is known to police, an RCMP statement said.

In May, Aster was sentenced to 18 months probation for breaking and entering, mischief $5,000 or under, two counts of theft $5,000 or under and three counts of possessing or using a stolen credit card. He’d spent a total of 127 days in custody prior to sentencing.

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