British Columbia

Police arrest man after suspected Langara College arson leads to evacuation

Vancouver Police have arrested a man in his 20s in connection with a suspected arson at Langara College.

Person entered college campus and lit 'one or more' fires before fleeing the scene, police say

Langara College was evacuated April 1 after three incendiary devices were discovered inside one of the campus' buildings. (Maryse Zeidler)

Vancouver police have arrested a man in his 20s in connection with a suspected arson at Langara College.

The school was evacuated around 1 p.m. on Monday because of a fire that police at the time said may have been deliberately set.

In a statement, police said a man entered the school with incendiary devices.

"It appears the suspect may have lit one or more fires before fleeing from the scene," the statement read in part.

Police say the suspect was quickly identified, once officers arrived on the scene. He was arrested in Surrey by Metro Vancouver Transit Police just after 4 p.m. and is now in custody.

The college said the campus, which is on West 49th Avenue in Vancouver, will remain closed Tuesday after classes and exams were cancelled Monday.

School search ongoing

The Vancouver Police Department said its officers, along with B.C. Ambulance and Langara staff, helped firefighters get everyone out of the school.

Officers then explored the building to look for any other dangers. The search was expected to continue into the night.

First responders are asking people to avoid West 49th Avenue from Ontario to Alberta streets.

The school first reported an "incident" in its "T" building at about 11:30 a.m. PT Monday. That building was evacuated and the library closed while firefighters attended. The entire school would be cleared out 1½ hours later.

Langara is posting updates on its website and Twitter feed.

Langara College says anyone who saw suspicious activity at the school Monday morning should call 911. (Maryse Zeidler/CBC)

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.