The Hope Fire Department responded to a distress call at 8 a.m. Saturday for a structure fire in Silver Creek, after a disturbed man set fire to his unit in a duplex/cabin that was occupied by three people.
“The suspect lit his half on fire and it is believed that he was compromised medically,” said Hope Fire Chief, Tom DeSorcy. “I don’t know the current status of the man, other than it was believed to be a mental health issue.”
The young couple on the other side of the structure was alerted by a working fire alarm, and by neighbors who were pounding on the door trying to get them out of bed. They were given over to the care of emergency services and were able to take a few personal belongings with them.
A neighbour then pulled a nearby RV trailer out of harm’s way by hooking it up to his vehicle, containing the fire to the duplex/cabin.
At approximately 8:14 a.m. Hope RCMP members responded to a call for assistance from the Hope Fire Department as they were engaged in combatting the fire at the 63900 block of Flood Hope Road.
Hope RCMP members were initially required to provide traffic control in the area.
Once on scene, police attempted to apprehend the male suspect who was confined to a mobile scooter and brandishing kives during a stand-off.
After 30 minutes or so the man was subdued and transported to Fraser Canyon hospital with minor injuries sustained from the confrontation with police.
“The male subject was wielding knives and did verbally confront the attending police officers. Neither member was injured and/or under immediate threat of bodily harm or death,” said Staff Sergeant Karol Rehdner of The Hope RCMP detachment. “The attending members took appropriate action to de-escalate the situation and at no time were the officers or other members of the public under threat from the male subject.”
Police maintained the scene and continued with their investigation, after firefighters, able contain the fire, left the scene at approximately 11:30 a.m. An initial assessment indicated that the fire was suspicious in nature.
Hope RCMP members continue to investigate and ask that if any member of the public has information relating to this incident to please contact the RCMP Hope CPO at (604)869-7750 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) and reference file #2016-17064.