Trio charged with arson in Abbotsford condo blaze
By Rochelle Baker – Abbotsford News [British Columbia]
Published: July 22, 2008
Three suspects have been arrested and charged with arson in connection to the fire that reduced a section of Abbotsford condo complex to ashes last Tuesday.
Danielle Toplass, Jason Read and Angela Arkesteyn-Vogler are each facing three counts of arson for the blaze that destroyed a four-storey building under construction at The Crossing real estate development in the 33500 block of Marshall Road.
The three were arrested sometime over the weekend by Abbotsford Police.
The fire also badly charred a family home immediately next to the development, leaving a single dad and his three kids homeless.
Damage from the fire is estimated to be in the millions of dollars.
Flames from the blaze shot more than 30 metres into the night sky and could be seen by residents all over the city.
Radiant heat of the fire was so intense it cracked windows of the Gateway professional building along Marshall Road.
The Tempo condominium complex opposite on Holland Avenue also suffered damage to its windows and doors.
Trees, telephone and hydro poles, and shrubbery along the Marshall just west of McCallum were completely scorched.
Residents from surrounding apartment buildings, homes and businesses were evacuated – some until the early hours of the morning.
More than 100 firefighters from all seven of the city’s firehalls were called out.
Mission and Chilliwack fire departments were put on alert to cover the area.
No residents were hurt in the blaze, but four firefighters suffered injuries.
The only thing remaining of the structure was the charred concrete block elevator shaft rising up from blackened beams.
One- and two-bedroom units at The Crossing were being pre-sold and advertised on the Internet, ranging from $160,000 to close to $278,000.
The complex was advertised to be ready by fall. Phase one and two of the project were already sold out.
As many as 1,300 other area residents lost telephone service after the fire burned two cable lines.
The three suspects are scheduled to next appear in Abbotsford provincial court July 24.
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