Prince Rupert RMCP have arrested one person on suspected arson charges relating to the massive CN roundhouse fire on Sunday.
A youth male suspect was arrested and released this morning pending a court date.
The suspect’s identity is protected under the Youth Justice Act.
“We were proactive with an investigation that led to the arrest,” Cpl. Devon Gerrits of the Prince RCMP said. “We noticed some people throughout the day around the area … and from reviewing [surveillance] footage, that led to an arrest.”
Recent protests at CN Rail sites across the country, including the setting of fires, had fueled speculation that it possibly could be linked to the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposition to the Coastal GasLink project.
Speculation Gerrits said was unfounded.
“Definitely not related to the Wet’suwet’en at all. It’s a hot topic, everyone has been asking about that,” he said.
Prince Rupert firefighters arrived at the scene at 4:30 p.m. to attempt to extinguish the blaze which reached from ground level at the waterfront rail lines to the cliff top above First Ave.
A CN contractor, who would only speak to The Northern View on the condition of anonymity, said the roundhouse has been used primarily as storage for more than 11 years and had a lot of flammable items such as oil drums and other flammable material in it.
RCMP cordoned off Bill Murray Way and cleared the waterfront area of vehicular traffic just after 5 p. m. citing the need for emergency vehicles only in the area. Hoses could be seen running from the waterfront across the several lines of rail tracks.
The Prince Rupert Fire Department referred all inquiries to the RCMP.