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Nanaimo Tim Hortons to close for at least 6 months after fire UPDATE: Arsonist arrested

UPDATE 8/8/2022:

The man who lit a Nanaimo Tim Hortons on fire has been charged.

37-year-old Kym Arkell of Nanaimo was arrested on August 3rd, and is in police custody until August 16th.

The fire he lit caused hundreds of thousands of dollars of damages to the relatively new building, and put several dozen employees out of work.

RCMP say the Tim Hortons staff will be out of work for upwards of six months.

Arkell is a suspect in several other small fires that were set at nearby businesses, however, those incidents are still under investigation and no charges have been laid.

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8/3/2022: A Tim Hortons in Nanaimo will be closed for at least six months after a fire Tuesday.

Police say the arson was reported just before 1 a.m. at the franchise located on Northfield Road.

Fire crews were at the scene within minutes and contained the spread of the blaze to the outside of the building.

Police believe the fire started around the doors and spread to the top of the structure.

RCMP are also investigating other fires that were reported Tuesday near the Tim Hortons.

RCMP were contacted at around 12:15 a.m. about a blaze in a dumpster behind the Super Save Gas and Go at the intersection of Northfield Road and Bowen Road.

Crews attended and put out the fire before it caused any damage.

A suspect at this location was spotted wearing a hoodie and black pants and was carrying a gas can.

Another fire was reported that morning in a garbage can near the carwash in the same complex as the Tim Hortons, and the receptacle was damaged.

“These fires are most likely related and started by the same individual or persons,” said Nanaimo RCMP Cst. Gary O’Brien. “With that in mind, investigators are asking if anyone saw a vehicle or anyone in the immediate area from 11 p.m. on Monday to 1 a.m. on Tuesday to please call and report it.”

Anyone with related information is asked to contact Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.

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