New Brunswick

Arson charge laid in Bathurst fire that destroyed 4 downtown buildings

A Bathurst man has been charged with arson in connection with a fire last fall that destroyed four buildings in the city's downtown core, causing more than $1 million in damage.

Perry Kinsman, 53, due back in provincial court on Sept. 2, say police

The fire scarred Bathurst's downtown and caused more than $1 million in damage. (Facebook/Bathurst Police Force)

A Bathurst man has been charged with arson in connection with a fire last fall that destroyed four buildings in the city's downtown core, causing more than $1 million in damage.

Perry Kinsman, 53, appeared in Bathurst provincial court on Friday.

He has been remanded in custody and is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 2.

On Nov. 27, shortly before midnight, Bathurst emergency crews responded to a structure fire behind Birds Eye View pet store, at 207 King Ave.

The fire quickly spread to neighbouring buildings on Main Street and King Avenue. Within an hour, the fire spread to a fourth building located on King Avenue.

It took firefighters from Bathurst and several neighbouring agencies more than 16 hours to get the fire under control.

Four buildings had to be demolished, which displaced many businesses and tenants, the Bathurst Police Force said in a statement on Friday. Some businesses were unable to rebuild or relocate as a result of the fire, it said.

The fire marshall and other fire experts from across the province were called to assist with this investigation.

Kinsman was arrested by the police force's general investigation division on Thursday.

"The Bathurst Police Force would like to thank all those who assisted with this investigation either by contacting the Bathurst Police Force with information they had or by supplying information through NB Crime Stoppers," the statement said.

Firefighters from the Bathurst Fire Department, St. Anne Regional Fire Department, the Allardville Fire Department, the Robertville Fire Department, the Beresford Fire Department and the New Bandon/Salmon Beach Fire Department battled the blaze.

now