One arrested after late-night blaze damages downtown Victoria hotel

·1 min read

VICTORIA — Four people are hurt and several others, including police officers, had to be treated for smoke inhalation after a fire at a Victoria hotel being used as temporary housing for the homeless.

Victoria police say a man called officers to a suite in the Capital CityCenter Hotel Thursday night, saying he was armed and capable of harming himself.

The man barricaded the suite door as officers spoke to him but when they saw smoke and flames inside they broke through the barricade before being driven back by the fire.

Assistant battalion fire Chief Ross Isherwood says the suite in the 94-unit hotel is gutted and smoke has damaged the rest of the building, but all tenants escaped.

The statement from Victoria police says officers lost track of the man who initially called but found him during the evacuation and took him into custody for treatment under the Mental Health Act.

The fire is considered suspicious but police say all those who were taken to hospital are expected to recover, and displaced residents are being helped by the Red Cross and an organization that assists Victoria's inner-city community.  

(With files from CTV Vancouver Island)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2020.

The Canadian Press