Police have made an arrest relating to a suspicious downtown Nanaimo blaze that displaced 12 people last week.
Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews responded to the structure fire in an apartment in the Globe Hotel at 25 Front St. Wednesday at about 10 p.m.
Upon arrival, fire was showing from a second floor apartment. Crews attacked the fire from the outside prior to entering the building and contained it to the one apartment.
The three-storey building suffered smoke and water damage throughout.
Twelve residents were displaced and were supported by the city’s Community Assistance Program volunteers. There were no injuries.
Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s fire prevention unit and RCMP are on scene and will conduct a joint investigation into the cause of the fire.
Capt. Ennis Mond, chief fire prevention officer, said Thursday morning the investigation was about to be turned over to Nanaimo RCMP.
Mond did not know when the 12 displaced tenants would be able to return to their homes, but it would depend on how quickly the building’s insurer can respond and begin restoration work.
“They’ve got smoke damage throughout the apartment side of this building and water damage into the ground floor of this building … What that timeline’s going to be, I have no idea,” Mond said.
Investigators are looking to speak to potential witnesses to the fire.
Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said Monday police had made an arrest over the weekend, but did not have more details about the suspect’s identity or recommended charges available before press time.
“They made an arrest, but we don’t have any information to put out at this point,” O’Brien said.
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information about the fire, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.