Suspect sought in Whyte Avenue-area apartment fire

Edmonton man wanted on charges of attempted murder, arson

Police are loking for a 25-year-old Edmonton man wanted on one count of attempted murder and arson causing injury to four victims following an apartment fire Sunday at 99th Street and 86th Avenue.

Police believe Zachary Holland may have fled to Calgary and are asking anyone who comes into contact with him to be extremely cautious.

Holland is wanted on 11 other charges as well.

Zachary Holland, 25, of Edmonton, is wanted on charges of attempted murder and arson causing injury. (EPS)

Fire investigators say the early morning apartment fire in old Strathcona is considered suspicious.

The fire, which started just before 3 a.m. at the building sent four people to hospital and had others leaping from their balconies to escape the flames.

"They were like jump, you gotta jump," said Wade Roy, who jumped from his third-floor apartment.

"As soon as I opened the hallway door all that smoke came in too. So it was still too thick, you couldn't [leave]. So I was like what do you do?"

Roy says he jumped down to the balcony below him before leaping to the ground, where he saw his other neighbours in a panic.

When firefighters arrived, they found the second-storey suite underneath Roy’s engulfed in flames.

Many of Roy’s neighbours also moved to the balconies to escape the smoke.

"There were several residents on balconies that required rescue. So, fire crews primary concern was getting the building evacuated and they were able to get everyone out safely," said Holly Budd, a public information officer with Edmonton Fire Rescue.

Wade Roy leapt from his third-floor balcony after he found his apartment door blocked by thick smoke. (CBC)

Budd said one woman suffered burns and three men were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation.

It took 40 firefighters about an hour to get it under control.

"The fire was contained to the suite, but there was extensive smoke and water damage [to the building]," Budd said.

Investigators estimate the fire caused about $500,000 in damage.

The Alberta Red Cross said it is offering aid to 20 people who were affected by the fire.

For the next 72 hours, five volunteers will be providing shelter, household supplies and food to those who were forced from their homes. 


  • A previous version of this story reported that five people were taken to hospital, based on information provided by Edmonton Fire Rescue Dispatch. That was corrected to four people later Sunday morning. This story has been changed to reflect that new information.
    Sep 29, 1970 5:11 PM MT