File photo An arson charge was laid against an Abbotsford man in relation to a house fire in Keremeos in June.

Arson charge laid in Keremeos house fire

An arson charge was laid against an Abbotsford man in relation to a house fire in Keremeos in June

  • Feb. 5, 2019 1:44 p.m.

A charge of arson has been laid against an Abbotsford man eight months after fire destroyed a vacant home in Keremeos.

The fire started in the yard of the vacant house in the 1000-block of 4th Street at about 1 p.m. on June 14. Smoke billowed thick in the air throughout Keremeos. The house was vacant, but neighbours told the Review the owner had been to the home that day. Windows were kicked out of the home and a cat had been seen run from the burning house.

The house had to be knocked down so Keremeos Volunteer firefighters could ensure it was out.

Within hours of the blaze, RCMP deemed the cause of the fire suspicious.

Related: UPDATE: Cause of Keremeos house fire deemed suspicious

Cpl. Brian Evans of the Keremeos detachment said then that the fire was started outdoors in the yard. The fire spread quickly and engulfed the home.

“We spent time collecting the evidence and putting the case together and gathering statements,” Evans said of the delay in laying charges. “It’s just the process.”

Keremeos RCMP attended the scene and spoke with several witnesses in the area. Evans said the fire was deemed human-caused early on in the investigation and that was particularly disturbing as there were fire bans in place as the Similkameen headed into wildfire season.

“This action created a significant risk to the community and primarily the residents surrounding that home, but also in a dry season that we have in the summer, it could have been significantly worse. It’s just a high level of risk and ignorance,” he said. “It’s dangerous for the firefighters, dangerous for the public. It’s dangerous for everybody especially when it was at a time there were no fires of that nature permitted anyway.”

Michael Doerksen, 44, of Abbotsford was charged with arson. Doerksen is scheduled to appear in Penticton Provincial Court on March 13.

To report a typo, email:
editor@keremeosreview.com
.


@TaraBowieBC
editor@keremeosreview.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. father and sons launch new trunk-sharing system, ‘Trunkit’

Smiths say peer-to-peer shipping service offers an affordable, green alternative

Summerland thrift store to offer reusable cloth bags

Bags at Summerland Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store will be available at a nominal cost in March

Family Day move a welcome change: poll

Okanagan readers voted that the new date for Family Day in B.C. is a positive change

Penticton athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Penticton Vees look to playoffs after Feb. 16 win against Langley

The team needs to win two of their last three games to claim the division title

VIDEO: First responders save man friends say overdosed on fentanyl

Friends administered personal stores of naloxone before responders arrived

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Salmon Arm’s Laura Hall on bronze-winning skating squad

Hall’s team placed third in long track team pursuit at the Canada Winter Games

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Review: Joie de Vivre a celebration of homegrown talent

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra concert featured Ernst Schneider

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

Most Read