Date: Friday November 6, 2020

File: 20-44176

Victoria, BC – A man was apprehended after a mental health barricade and suspected arson that sent several people to hospital last night.

Patrol officers were called to a suite at a multi-unit residential temporary housing building in the 1900-block of Douglas Street just before 8:30 p.m. last night after a man in crisis called police. The man reported that he was armed.

Officers attended and began to speak with the man from outside his suite. The man indicated that he was armed, at risk of harm and had barricaded the suite door.

While officers continued to speak to the man from outside his suite and resolve the incident safely, the smoke detector in the suite began to sound and smoke was observed coming from the suite. Officers attempted to enter the suite to rescue the man but were held back by the barricaded door.

Officers then witnessed fire within the suite and made a second entry attempt. This time, officers were able to get into the suite, but were pushed back by heavy smoke and flames.

Officers evacuated tenants from the building and Victoria Fire Department firefighters attended and fought the fire.

During the evacuation, officers located the man who had initially called. He was apprehended under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital.

In addition to the man who initially called, four people were transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and several people, including officers on scene, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries related to smoke inhalation.

The fire is considered suspicious.

This incident remains under investigation.