Files: 20-19497

Victoria, BC – Patrol officers arrested one man in connection to three suspicious James Bay fires which occurred in the early morning hours of May 14th.

At approximately 3 a.m. on Thursday, May 14th, Patrol officers were called to a suspicious construction bin fire near the intersection of Michigan and Powell streets. The Victoria Fire Department was already on scene and extinguished the fire. The construction bin sustained significant fire damage.

At approximately 3:05 a.m., while on scene at the construction bin fire, the officers were alerted to a second suspicious fire which was burning in the 500-block of Government Street. Officers attended the area and observed that the staircase of a heritage building was on fire. The Patrol officers contained the fire with a fire extinguisher. The Victoria Fire Department then attended and extinguished the fire.

At approximately 3:10 a.m., Patrol officers received a third report of an ongoing fire in the 200-block of Menzies Street. Officers attended and observed a dumpster fully engulfed in flames. The fire spread to a nearby wooden fence, which the officer was able to contain with a fire extinguisher. The Victoria Fire Department attended and extinguished the remaining fire.

No one was injured as a result of these fires, however significant property damage occurred.

At approximately 12 p.m. on Friday, May 29th, Patrol officers, working with detectives with VicPD’s Major Crime Unit and officers from Strike Force, located and arrested a man believed to be responsible for these fires.

Oliver Govinda Petersen, a 50-year-old Victoria man, faces recommended charges including three counts of arson. Petersen was transported to VicPD cells, where he was held to await morning court.