RCMP arrest suspected arsonist on Vancouver Island
Published Sunday, March 24, 2019 3:17PM PDT
A man has been arrested in connection to a series of fires in downtown Courtenay Saturday.
The largest of the fires was at the Cona Hostel, where flames engulfed the second floor.
"I saw the door was burning and I kicked the door in to make sure everybody was safe, and I ran to the other rooms, just to get my friends out of there," said Michael Vestergaard, a seasonal worker who'd been living at the hostel.
He was able to escape with his Denmark passport and work visa, while others left empty-handed.
Crews were alerted to two other fires at about 10 a.m. which were sparked within minutes of each other, according to fire officials.
Comox Valley RCMP said the suspect remains in custody while investigators continue to gather evidence.
Police are asking any witnesses to come forward, saying there were likely a lot of people in the area when the fires starting.
With files from CTV Vancouver Island's Gord Kurbis