Nearly seven years after an arson fire destroyed a building under construction in White Rock’s Five Corners neighbourhood, a suspect has been charged.
The intentionally-set May 2016 fire put about 100 residents of the four-storey, 60-unit Ocean Ridge condominium complex out of their homes.
Residents were evacuated just after 5 a.m. after a fire broke out at Allure, a condominium complex under construction immediately south of Ocean Ridge.
The Allure building was destroyed, while Ocean Ridge structure suffered significant fire-, smoke- and water-damage.
Residents of the Ocean Ridge building were evacuated to the Centennial Arena, most in their pyjamas with few to no personal belongings. Some were also able to rescue their pets from the building, while others were not as fortunate.
The nearby Star of the Sea Hall was also affected by the massive fire, with its ground-level businesses impacted.
Fire crews from Surrey also responded to the blaze, with firefighters having to tap into Surrey’s water supply for more than six hours.
White Rock was put under a boil-water advisory for three days because of the strain placed on the city’s water supply.
Costs for the city to access Surrey’s water supply and its fire crews reached $107,000.
Police confirmed days after the blaze that a second fire had been set on the same day as the Five Corners fire, on Semiahmoo First Nation land. Described as “really not a big deal” – some pallets were burned on a basketball court – police said at the time that “no link” was identified between the two incidents.
Ten days later, police declared the Five Corners blaze suspicious.
Two suspects were arrested on July 6, 2021 for various offences, including arson, break and enter and theft, but were released. No update to those two initial suspects was given.
On Feb. 1, James Adrian Dyer, 24, of Surrey, was charged by the B.C. Prosecution Service, with seven counts, including arson, according to a press release issued Feb. 2 by White Rock RCMP.
“Our investigators have worked tirelessly to bring this investigation to the charge approval stage. It showcases the dedication and commitment our police officers have to their work and to public safety,” said Const. Chantal Sears.
Dyer is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Thursday, Feb. 23 at Surrey Provincial Courthouse.
-with files from Tracy Holmes