With the help of an astute passerby, Osoyoos firefighters and RCMP were able to quickly douse an arson fire at the RCMP detachment on Thursday night.
On July 25 at approximately 9:30 p.m. two officers were in the detachment working when they could smell what they thought was smoke, Cpl. Chris Manseau said in a news release.
The officers went outside to investigate and found the main entrance and front wall of the detachment on fire.
“An unknown suspect had used gasoline to start the fire. Luckily, a very astute passerby saw the fire and was already using water from his RV in an attempt to put it out,” Manseau said.
While police were outside a male returned with some flammable items presumably to add to the fire. Police recognized the male from several recent dealings and immediately arrested him.
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The Osoyoos Fire Department attended and confirmed the fire was out, Manseau said.
“The building sustained minimal damage, however the potential for serious damage and injuries was significant.”
“This situation could have been very dangerous for the members inside the detachment, luckily a good samaritan was nearby and acted very quickly to put out the fire,” said Cpl. Dave Smith.
Joseph McArthur-Pereira, 28, of Osoyoos, has since been charged with arson endangering life and mischief causing danger to life.
McArthur-Pereira made his first appearance in Penticton Provincial Court on July 26, and his next court appearance is scheduled for August 21.