Nanaimo, BC, Canada – Intentionally-set fire at credit union knocked down by sprinkler system

A man is in psychiatric care after being arrested in Nanaimo yesterday.

Police responded to a break-in alarm at the Island Savings Credit Union branch at Cedar Village Square, 1840 Cedar Rd., shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Police are not identifying the suspect other than to say that he is 54 years old and from the B.C. Interior, but allege he broke windows and lit a fire which led to his arrest.

“He lit a fire in the cardboard recycling area of the receiving bay of the 49th Parallel Grocery store,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “He also threw a brick through one of the … windows at the credit union and he also broke a passenger side window to a car.”

O’Brien said there was a warrant for the man’s arrest under Canada’s mental health act.

“He offered no resistance. He was arrested immediately.” O’Brien said. “It was apparent to the members that were mental health issues at play and he was taken for a psych exam.”

The man remains in care at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

Percy Tipping, North Cedar Fire Rescue chief, said the fire, that was started in cardboard, spread to some shipping pallets. The heat from the fire triggered the building’s automatic sprinkler system.

“Which was good because it could have been a lot more serious … the sprinkler system took care of the bulk of it for us,” Tipping said.

O’Brien said police are looking at recommending charges, but also are taking into consideration the man’s mental health issues.

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