'None of it seemed real': Lake Country man wakes to stranger lighting his house on fire

David Yerema awoke Sunday morning to his dog barking and the smell of burning plastic.

'It was like you're on the outside watching some weird show and this is all going on'

Kelowna's Lake Country. RCMP arrested a suspected arsonist who tried to set fire to a home and say he is facing a number of charges. (Google Street View)

David Yerema awoke Sunday morning to his dog barking and the smell of burning plastic. 

The Lake Country, B.C., man ran out of bed and spotted a man at the entrance of his home on Robinson Road. The stranger had assembled a pile of objects, including a radio and pipes and doused them in diesel. 

Flames were starting to rise and lick the walls of Yerema's home. Inside were his wife, cousin, two teenage kids, plus a dog and cat.

"None of it seemed real," Yerema recounted to host Sarah Penton on CBC's Radio West.

"It was like you're on the outside watching some weird show and this is all going on, not with you as a central actor."

Listen to the full interview:

David Yerema awoke Sunday morning to his dog barking and the smell of burning plastic. 6:36

PJs caught fire

Yerema started to pull the burning objects away from the house. His wife ran after the suspect. 

Yerema's pyjamas caught on fire twice as he desperately tried to put out the flames.

"It's funny because I do have fire extinguishers in my house, but that did not enter into my thinking," he said.

Fire crews soon responded and put out the fire. Yerema said the incident was captured on a security camera installed on his house.

"It's honestly just like a movie, but it's a traumatizing movie," he said.

Man arrested

Kelowna RCMP have arrested and charged a man who they allege was responsible for a string of early-morning crimes Sunday in Lake Country. 

Police said that after fleeing the home, the man stole a pickup truck which he crashed.

The man ran away and was later arrested after he was seen hopping over fences, RCMP said.

Yerema said he does not know the man and that neighbours are taken aback.

Matthew David Hanson, 31, has been charged with arson causing bodily harm, and break and enter with intent to commit an offence. 

Hanson will appear in Kelowna Provincial Court on Sept. 24. 

With files from CBC's Radio West

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