Squatters sent packing after downtown Kamloops arson | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops News

Squatters sent packing after downtown Kamloops arson

An arson on St. Paul street on March 30, 2024, forced residents out of the home, including those that were there illegally.

A tenant living in a home targeted by arson is moving out just days after a fire there was doused.

Dalton Gair and his wife Olivia are packing up after living with squatters for months in the charred downtown house.

They just got back after staying in a hotel following the arson on March 30. It was one of five suspicious fires in one weekend, this one started by a man with a jerry can.

Around 1 a.m., Gair awoke to a man banging on his door. Frustrated and confused, he answered before realizing the side of their house was on fire.

READ MORE: iN VIDEO: Man sets fire outside Kamloops business and then walks away

"I wish I knew who it was so I could thank him," Gair said.

Security footage captured a man go through front the gate carrying the fuel can. The side of the house, however, doesn't have cameras and the man couldn't be seen actually setting the fire. It did record the man fleeing back through the front gate after the fire was lit, Gair said.

The house has 10 separated suites. The one directly above Gair had been occupied by squatters for months, he said. He would often hear not just footsteps but also yelling and violence periodically overhead.

"We'd call the police, but they said they couldn't do anything," Gair said. He added that police kept an eye on the house regularly, suggesting they were aware that the squatters were involved in the drug trade.

READ MORE: Kamloops drug supplier got 'permission' to sell from Lower Mainland, Calgary gangsters

The St. Paul Street house was empty and guarded by security in the days after it was damaged by arson.
The St. Paul Street house was empty and guarded by security in the days after it was damaged by arson.

Since the fire, the squatters were evicted, while Gair and his wife were preparing to move into another home owned by the same landlord, relieved to be going to a new environment.

It's not clear whether the St. Paul Street fire was related to the series of fires around the city. Two were in Valleyview that weekend with one at a local auto shop and another at the Tournament Inn. Another was at a business in the Tk'emlups industrial park.

The other residential fire was at a Brocklehurst townhouse where two men got out of a truck and threw a Molotov cocktail at the front. It charred the exterior of the house and burned the front of an SUV.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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