Man sets fire at Yonge-Belsize to kill pets

Apart­ments went up in flames af­ter threats by the ac­cused

Annex Post - - NEWS - — Macken­zie Patterson

Shortly af­ter mid­night on March 13, a male sus­pect al­legedly set fire to an apart­ment near Yonge Street and Belsize Drive. Po­lice said the sus­pect had pre­vi­ously threat­ened to start a fire in or­der to kill some of the pets in the build­ing.

Jenif­fer­jit Sidhu, cor­po­rate communications of­fi­cer with the Toronto Po­lice Ser­vice (TPS), said that po­lice were called to the scene, but the two-alarm fire had al­ready spread through sev­eral units on the se­cond floor of the build­ing lead­ing to the death of one or two pets. Sev­eral ten­ants were inside the build­ing at the time of the fire and were evac­u­ated by fire­fight­ers.

“Po­lice re­ceived a call early Tues­day morn­ing re­gard­ing a fire that took place in the Yonge Street and Belsize Drive area. A man set fire to an apart­ment, caus­ing the death of some of the pets. He then bar­ri­caded him­self in the apart­ment,” said Sidhu.

Later that day, a 34-year-old male sus­pect was ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the fire and the harm to an­i­mals.

“He has been ar­rested, and he has been charged with a num­ber of ar­son-re­lated and crim­i­nal code charges. He did ap­pear in court on the same day,” Sidhu said.

The ac­cused was charged with a to­tal of seven of­fenses, in­clud­ing ar­son hav­ing dis­re­gard for hu­man life, ar­son caus­ing prop­erty dam­age, ut­ter­ing threats to cause prop­erty dam­age, ut­ter­ing threats to harm an­i­mals, kill, maim or wound an­i­mals, mis­chief over $5,000 and as­sault.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, the case is now be­fore the courts, and On­tario’s Of­fice of the Fire Mar­shal is con­duct­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Po­lice are ask­ing any­one with information on this case to contact po­lice.

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