Man facing arson charges in relation two fires deemed suspicious

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A 57-year-old Saanich man is facing arson charges after being arrested Wednesday in connection with two dramatic fires in the Vancouver Island municipality.

“These fires caused a significant amount of damage and fortunately no one was injured, ” said Acting Sgt. Jereme Leslie in a release. “We are pleased to announce that an arrest has been made and would like to thank the public for their support and understanding during these investigations.”

The first fire occurred on April 9, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. at a Home Depot on Shelbourne Street in Victoria. The store was evacuated and police later determined the fire had been intentionally set.

The second fire, on May 22, forced 10 units in neighbouring townhouse buildings to be evacuated as flames erupted into the sky from another complex under construction at 4009 Cedar Hill Rd. It was less than a block from the Home Depot fire and the structure was completely destroyed.

Police say the man charged — who they did not identify — is known to investigators. He appeared in court on Thursday to face two charges of arson to endanger life.

Saanich police’s major crime detectives say they spoke to witnesses, reviewed hours of video surveillance, interviewed others and searched for evidence at both scenes to build their case.

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