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Man in jail after starting a fire in a Kelowna law office

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July 13, 2015 - 2:42 PM

KELOWNA - Police don’t have a motive for why a man tried to start a fire inside a downtown law firm earlier today.

RCMP media spokesman Const. Steve Holmes says the man entered the Pihl Law Corporation building at 1465 Ellis St. and started a fire in some clothing on the third floor at about 10:20 a.m. today, July 13.

The man assaulted a tenant of the building when he tried to intervene and when the Kelowna Fire Department responded and tried to extingish the fire with a dry chemical extinguisher, Holmes says the man also attacked the firefighters.

“We haven’t established anything yet. We’re not sure if he had been a client or what the deal was. He seemed to not be making a  lot of sense when in conflict with the firefighters. So maybe there is mental health issues or something else going on. He is in custody.”

Holmes says a firefighter was slightly injured during the attack and the man in the law firm who tried to intervene had his clothes ripped and sustained a shoulder injury. Others were treated for smoke inhalation and the effects of the dry chemical extinguisher.

“One of the firefighters had his hand injured as a result of the conflict. One of the people who worked at the law firm, he also got involved in helping deal with this individual who was getting out of hand”

Holmes did not identify the man but says he is facing potential charges of assault, resisting arrest and arson and will remain in custody until he makes a court appearance tomorrow. A pyschological assessment has also been ordered.

The entire building was evacuated during the incident and Holmes says there was some smoke damage and burns to the flooring and one of the doors inside the building.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

UPDATED: 4:10 p.m. Monday, July 13, 2015 with new information from the Kelowna RCMP.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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