Police have released information regarding the person involved and charges he faces:
Grand Forks RCMP
2013-09-20 0853 hrs
Boundary Regional Detachment, RCMP are now releasing the name of the person charged in connection with the Arson Fire at Grand Forks City Hall on 2013-09-19.
Charged is; Andre Robert CONN, 31 years old of Grand Forks B.C.
He has been remanded in Custody to appear in Nelson Court on Tuesday, September 24th to answer to charges of; Break and Enter, Arson, Possession of incendiary materials, Possession of break in Instruments.
The Grand Forks RCMP is seeking the public’s assistance in this investigation and ask that anyone with information regarding the fire contact the Grand Forks RCMP at 250-442-8288. Those wishing to provide information anonymously, are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net
Staff Sergeant Jim Harrison
NCO i/c Boundary Regional Detachment
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
People downtown woke up to the sound of sirens early this morning to find Fire Rescue and
RCMP vehicles clustered around Grand Forks City Hall. Shortly after 5AM someone had broke into the building and set a fire in the main floor open area. This resulted in Intrusion and Fire alarms going off and that brought Fire Rescue onto the scene in less than 5 minutes.
With luck and quick response by the volunteers of Grand Forks Fire Rescue this fire was brought under control in less than an hour and did far less damage than the last arson to occur downtown, the destruction of the remaining two of the original hotels. In fact it would appear that the fire was contained within the open area of the main floor and put out before it could spread. Offices on periphery of the main space saw little or no fire damage due to their doors being closed. Smoke damage is the only result present on the second floor and the basement only suffered water damage from the firefighting efforts.
At this time the full extent of all this is not completely known and cannot be properly assessed until after a structural assessment is done and the fire and RCMP investigators have done their jobs. What has happened to the historical archives, city records and computer and heating systems in the basement are some of the questions various groups are waiting to know. For the near future city staff are working on reconfiguring their operations to continue on in some fashion elsewhere. How long this will take and where it will happen is still unknown. It is unlikely that the next city council meeting will not take place at city hall.
This appears to the actions of one individual who was apprehended at the scene and is now in police custody. Until more investigation has been done and charges have been laid police cannot release any details about who it is or what evidence they have. We won’t speculate on motives here – the rumour mill is already generating enough stories.
Once more the people of Grand Forks can say thank you for the efforts and quick response of the Volunteers of Grand Forks Fire Rescue.
Thank you (Councilor) Gary Smith for the initial call to us about the news item.