Man charged over suspicious fire

A 23-year-old man has been charged with arson and mischief after allegedly setting fire to a garden shed and slashing vehicle tires.

A storage shed caught fire under suspicious circumstances in Cranbrook on Thursday morning.

A storage shed caught fire under suspicious circumstances in Cranbrook on Thursday morning.

A 23-year-old man has been charged with arson and mischief after allegedly setting fire to a garden shed and slashing vehicle tires in Cranbrook on Thursday morning.

Around 6 a.m. on March 14, residents of the 1800 block of 6th Street South called police to report a prowler who was slashing vehicle tires in the neighbourhood.

When Cranbrook RCMP arrived on scene and entered a back yard, officers heard a “whoomp” sound and immediately saw a garden shed catch on fire, according to an RCMP statement.

Police evacuated the home and a neighbouring home, then used a garden hose to stem the blaze until firefighters arrived.

Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services said in a city statement that they attended the blaze and used around 800 gallons of foam-based water to extinguish the fire.

It had spread from the storage shed to the eaves of the home and its south-facing exterior wall, but it did not affect the neighbouring house.

A 23-year-old man called police to turn himself in an hour later. He was arrested and charged with arson and mischief. The man had a bail hearing in Cranbrook criminal court later the same day.