A fire believed to be deliberately set at the front of the Osoyoos RCMP detachment the night of July 25. One person is in custody in connection with the matter. (RCMP supplied photo)

Man allegedly sets fire to South Okanagan RCMP detachment with officers inside

An Osoyoos man is charged with arson following a fire at the Osoyoos RCMP detachment July 25.

A 28-year-old Osoyoos man is in custody pending a psychiatric evaluation in connection with a fire at the Osoyoos RCMP detachment.

According to police, Joseph McArthur-Pereira appeared in B.C. Provincial Court in Penticton charged with arson endangering life and mischief causing danger to life.

Cpl. Dave Smith of the Osoyoos detachment said at approximately 9:30 p.m. on July 25, two on-duty officers smelled smoke and when they went outside to investigate. They found the main entrance and front wall of the building was on fire.

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He added the person who reportedly started the fire had used a jerry can of gasoline to start the blaze.

When police went out a passerby was already using water from his RV to try and put it out.

Smith said while police were outside, McArthur-Pereira allegedly returned with a box of wood and was taken into custody.

“The building sustained minimal damage, although the potential for serious damage and injuries was significant as the fire had already started to creep under the front door into the waiting area,” said Smith in a news release.

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Mounties said the exact motive is unknown, although Osoyoos RCMP have had several recent dealings with McArthur-Pereira.

The investigation is continuing and the suspect’s next court appearance is Aug. 21.

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