In the early hours of Monday morning Brandon Police received a report from an employee of a business on 12th Street that someone had broken through the front door of the building. The employee was hiding in one of the offices when making the call. During that call the fire alarm sounded with smoke in the lower level.

Police entered the building and located a 33-year-old male who broke into the building by smashing the front glass door and started the fire.

The employee and 10 occupants of the second-floor apartments were evacuated by police.  The Brandon Police report states shortly after that, the building at 144-12th Street became fully engulfed with flames with a total loss of the building and its contents.

Public Information Officer for Brandon Police Service (BPS) Sgt Kirby Sararas says she was not aware of any connection between the suspect and the occupants of the building.  "I don't know of any motive as to why he would have done this, but it is rather unfortunate though because now there are ten people who no longer have a home."

"Our fire fighters have been very busy lately," notes Sgt Sararas. "I know there have been a few calls. unfortunately, they've been busy this fall as well. Hopefully that situation changes soon."

Sgt Sararas doesn't believe the fires within the city limits over the past few months are connected.  "We have laid charges in another arson situation recently, which is completely unrelated." 

Sgt Sararas encourages residents and business owners who see suspicious behaviour to notify police, as their call could potentially thwart the destructive intentions of someone wanting to do criminal activity.

"We are aware that people sometimes are hesitant to call police because they see something that might be suspicious, but they don't want to bother. But you're never a bother. Please report anything suspicious that you see, even if it's just passing on information because you never know that little bit of information could break a case for us or could lead to the arrest in something that you're unaware of that's going on," she explains. "So, by all means, anything suspicious that you see, please report to police."

The suspect has been lodged at BPS to appear in court 2023-11-20 for the charges of Break and Enter, and Arson with Disregard for Human Life. 

In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, Discover Westman encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the DiscoverWestman app.