Mounties have charged a 28-year-old man in connection with a massive apartment fire in Surrey, B.C., that has displaced dozens of residents less than two weeks before Christmas.

Police say the fire that ripped through the three-storey Bon Terra building Sunday morning was deliberately set.

Surrey resident Alvaro Flores was charged with one count of assault Tuesday morning. Police say he knew the woman in the first-floor suite where the fire originated, but could not elaborate on their relationship.

A spokesperson for the Surrey Mounties said investigators were still pursuing arson charges against Flores.

Residents hauled out whatever they could salvage from their charred suites after briefly being allowed back into their suites Monday afternoon.

Young mother Aileen Tulio said the blaze wiped out the majority of her possessions.

"Whatever I have there is like a treasure to me. Now I have nothing," Tulio said.

Many residents, including Mark Unger, don't have apartment insurance.

"It's one of those things where your groceries or fire insurance," he told CTV News.

Newlyweds Rosemarie and Herlan Salvador's wedding photos were inside their second floor suite.

"It's all ruined the pictures. A little bit of wedding pictures [were] saved but the frame and everything, it's gone," Rosemarie said.

Building manager Thea Lesco said all 17 suites affected by the fire are uninhabitable and people living there will have to find somewhere else to go.

"I have people crying who are homeless. I have…it's been hard," she said.

A Facebook group has been set up to help the fire victims.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Michele Brunoro