Arson charges laid in Salvation Army shelter blaze

A woman is charged with starting a fire that forced the evacuation of a Winnipeg shelter and sent two people to hospital in September.

Fire sent 2 to hospital

Police have laid arson charges in connection with a fire at the Salvation Army shelter in downtown Winnipeg in September. (Thomas Asselin/Radio-Canada)

A woman is charged with starting a fire that forced the evacuation of a Winnipeg shelter and sent two people to hospital in September.

Two hundred people had to flee the Booth Centre on Henry Avenue, east of Main Street, after thick smoke started coming out of the building around 11:10 a.m. on Sept. 14. The residential facility for homeless and disadvantaged people is run by the Salvation Army.

One of the evacuees, who was in stable condition, and a firefighter, who suffered a non-life-threatening injury, were taken to hospital.

A woman who lived in the building started the fire by lighting paper towels on fire in a sixth-floor washroom, police allege.

Crews quickly put out the fire, containing it to a single floor.

The fire caused about $60,000 in damage to the building, police said.

A 32-year-old woman was arrested Wednesday and is charged with arson with disregard for human life and arson causing damage to property.