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Witnesses say suspect told them to call 911 before building fire

Male suspect allegedly observed by witnesses starting the June 19 blaze in Red Deer County
A Clearwater County resident is facing arson charges in connection to a Red Deer County commercial building fire on June 19. File Photo/MVP Staff

A man who allegedly told witnesses to call 911 before setting an Innisfail-area business on fire has been nabbed and charged with arson by local Mounties.

RCMP Cpl. Troy Savinkoff said in a media release that at 7:58 a.m. on June 19, Innisfail RCMP received a report of an individual spraying gasoline on a commercial building located about two kilometres east of Innisfail along Rge. Rd. 282.

“There were several witnesses that observed this individual doing this. He wasn't doing it very surreptitiously. RCMP received several calls of this occurring,”  Savinkoff told the Albertan. “One of the witnesses described when approaching the suspect that the suspect was actually telling witnesses to call 911.”

“While enroute to the scene, RCMP were advised the suspect had lit the gasoline, and the business was on fire,” said Savinkoff.

The corporal said after the suspect lit the building on fire, he then fled the scene and later attempted to drive through a field but was observed by RCMP.

“It sounds like he ended up on foot, and then was held by a bystander until police were able to arrest him,” said Savinkoff.

In the meantime, Innisfail firefighters, with support from Penhold and Red Deer fire crews, were at the fire-ravaged property; owned by truck driving company Pro-N2.

Innisfail fire Chief Gary Leith told the Albertan on June 19 that when firefighters arrived at the scene the company’s parts building, which he estimated to be about 30 ft. by 20 ft. in size, was heavily involved with flames.

Leith said firefighters had the fire under control by around 10 a.m., and that firefighters remained on the scene until about 1 p.m.

While no injuries from the fire were reported Leith said the parts building was “severely damaged.”

He said shops on both sides of the building, including a 10-bay garage, were saved.

Savinkoff said RCMP have charged Clearwater County resident Tyler John Giglia, 39, with arson as well as break and enter with intent.

He said Giglia was taken before a justice of the peace and remanded into custody with his next court date set for June 20 at the Alberta Court of Justice in Red Deer.

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