Sarnia man charged with arson in Kathleen Avenue fire

Fire in multi-residential building on Kathleen Avenue in Sarnia. April 12, 2019. Photo by Sarnia Fire.

A Sarnia man is charged with arson in connection with a fire Friday afternoon at a multi-residential complex on Kathleen Avenue.

Cst. John Sottosanti said officers were called to a townhouse unit on Kathleen Avenue near East Street at around 3 p.m., to check on the welfare of a resident.

“Up on arrival, an officer noticed a broken window to the side of a man door,” said Sottosanti. “Officers began to knock on the door and attempted to call out to any possible occupants, but were met with no answer. Officers then began to notice black smoke within the residence through the broken window. Immediately officers breached the door out of concern for safety for any possible occupants. Within a short matter of time, the officers were faced with a fire beginning to rage out of control.”

Sarnia Fire and Rescue Platoon Chief Brad Allen said 15 firefighters from three stations extinguished the blaze, and no injuries were reported.

A unit appeared to be gutted.

Cst. Sottosanti said witnesses told police they saw a man run from the scene, and officers located and arrested a suspect just before 3:30 p.m. in the area of Carleton place and Ross Avenue.

Brandon Lee Williams, 25, faces one count of arson disregard for human life, four counts of arson damage to property, and one count of breach of probation.

He was being held in custody awaiting a bail hearing.