UPDATE: Fire department responds to arsonist at Pihl Law

One man in custody Monday morning after allegedly starting a fire.

  • Jul. 13, 2015 12:00 p.m.

Kelowna RCMP have confirmed that 22-year-old Cody Weninger of Kelowna has been charged with assault, resist arrest and arson stemming from the fire at the Pihl Law offices on Ellis Street Monday, July 13.

Weninger has been remanded until July 17.

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One man, 22,  was in custody Monday morning after a man attempted to light fires inside the Pihl Law Corporation offices in downtown Kelowna.

Kelowna Fire Department responded to a smoke alarm from the building in the 1400 block of Ellis Street at 10:19 a.m. July 13. When they arrived the building was already being evacuated by a tenant.

As a tenant began to usher people out he discovered the suspect near a fire that had been intentionally ignited in some clothing and was burning the carpet and a door. The suspect assaulted the tenant.

Firefighters arrived and extinguished the blaze only to be attacked as well. The firefighters restrained the struggling suspect until police arrived to arrest him.

One firefighter sustained a minor injury to his hand and the tenant had an injury to his shoulder from the attack. All involved were checked out by paramedics.

 

Fire damage to the area was localized; however, smoke infiltration required the evacuation of the building for about an hour and a half.

Police are investigating the motive behind the arson and have concerns as to the suspect’s state of mind. To that end, a request for a psychological evaluation will be requested and the man will remain in custody until a court appearance Tuesday.

 

The man faces potential charges of assault, resisting arrest and arson.

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CORRECTION: the fires were not at the Kelowna Courthouse. Unconfirmed reports have them at a downtown Kelowna law firm.

 

Two minor fires inside building reported to be put out.

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Fire truck and crew staging at corner of Bernard and Ellis in Kelowna. Moving to KLO and Richter.

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First responders inside call for ventilation in south staircase.

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Unconfirmed reports have fire alarms ringing at a downtown Kelowna law firm.

At 10:20 a.m. Monday, July 13, the building was being evacuated.

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