British Columbia

Arrest after historic chapel and other churches hit by arson in Merritt, B.C.

A 37-year-old man will appear in court for allegedly setting fire to four area churches this month.

4 area churches were destroyed this month

The Murray United Church was reduced to rubble after a suspicious fire on Jan. 11, 2019. (Pam Taylor)

A Merritt, B.C., man is set to appear in a Kamloops courtroom to face four counts of arson.

Kamloops RCMP Const. Tracy Dunsmore says the 37-year-old man was arrested Thursday.

Suspicious fires were set in four churches in the Merritt area earlier this month. One of the fires destroyed the nearly 150-year-old Murray United Church in the Nicola Valley.

That church was described on its website as the oldest building in the valley and the only one still standing made with local Nicola Valley lumber.

The other three buildings were not as seriously damaged and no one was injured in any of the fires.