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Family rescued from burning Camrose home, attempted murder charges laid against relative

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Family rescued from burning Camrose home, attempted murder charges laid against relative
A central Alberta man is facing several counts of attempted murder along with arson, accused of setting fire to a home in Camrose while his mother, sister, niece and nephew were barricaded inside. Lisa MacGregor reports – Dec 12, 2023

A central Alberta man is facing several counts of attempted murder, accused of setting fire to a home in Camrose while his mother, sister, niece and nephew were barricaded inside.

The overnight fire happened last week in the city 75 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.

On Wednesday, Dec. 6, officers from the Camrose Police Service responded to a call of a man threatening people inside a home in a trailer park on the north side of the city.

“Most definitely was a very concerning call,” said Insp. John Corbett with the CPS.

“Our 911 dispatch centre received a call from a female who was in distress and concerned about a male within the residence that was aggressive and causing some problems in the house.

“Threatening her and her family members to the point where her and the other occupants had barricaded themselves in a room.”

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The three adults, including a grandmother and mother, and her two children — ages five and 11 — were hiding in the room because the man was reportedly threatening to burn the home down.

Police said officers arrived to find the trailer already on fire and the five victims still trapped inside, hollering for help.

“Our officers had to assist the five occupants of the house out of a window,” Corbett said.

Police said that rescue happened just before the house became engulfed in flames.

Meanwhile, police said the man was going in and out of the home. Corbett said the man is not believed to have lived there, but was visiting family at the time.

“Two of the adults within the residence were related to the accused: one was the accused’ mother. The other was the accused’s sister,” Corbett said.

The man eventually came out of the house and was taken into custody after allegedly threatening and fighting with police.

EMS and Camrose firefighters responded and the flames were put out before spreading to other homes, although the trailer next door did suffer some external damage to the siding.

Beverly Blaeser lives next door and has been left rattled by the fire.

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“I’m not doing good at all,” Blaeser said, adding that her health has been affected by the stress of the fire. “Can’t eat. Can’t sleep. I walk past my kitchen window and I can see the flames shooting towards the trailer.”

Blaeser said she was in bed when she heard pounding on her door.

“So I got up and I said, ‘I’m coming.’ And she said, ‘Beverly, get out now.'”

Blaeser was taken in by a neighbour while emergency crews worked to put out the flames that destroyed the house next door. Blaeser said the wind was blowing the flames toward her home too.

“To be perfectly honest, I don’t know how they saved our trailer,” she said. “There were police everywhere and people everywhere and people hollering.

Blaeser is grateful for the police and firefighters who responded. While she didn’t know her neighbours well, she feels for the family that has been left homeless just weeks before Christmas.

“I feel bad for them. I really do,” she said. “But on the other hand, when you look at the other side of our trailer, we’ve got a lot of damage that’s got to be repaired. So, yeah.”

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Katlin George Konkin, 35, of Camrose has been charged with five counts of attempted murder, arson, assault with a weapon, assaulting a police officer, assault, uttering threats, resisting arrest and mischief.

“We have dealt with this person in the past. He is known to us,” Corbett said.

Konkin was brought before a justice of the peace and remains in custody until his next court appearance.

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