April 30, 2018 11:24 am

Man charged with arson in fire that disrupted telecom service in Minden Hills, Madoc Township

A man faces arson charges in connection to a fire north of Madoc that knocked out telecommunications on Sunday.

A man faces arson charges in connection to a fire north of Madoc that knocked out telecommunications on Sunday.

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A man faces arson charges in connection to a fire that also knocked out telecommunications in Minden Hills and Madoc Township on Sunday.

Central Hastings OPP were called around 3 a.m. to assist with a structure fire at an abandoned building in Bannockburn, about 17 kilometres north of Madoc (75 kilometres east of Peterborough).

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The fire also damaged a nearby cell tower which knocked out phone, cell and internet services to thousands of customers.

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Police determined someone broke into the building to start the fire and identified a suspect. They determined the man was also the same suspect in a residential break-in on Cleveland Road in Tudor Township. The homeowner said he found a man in his house who had stolen shoes and money.

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“The homeowner confronted the suspect and he left on foot,” police stated.

Around 9 a.m. Sunday, Eugene Dobratz, 32, of Tudor Township, was arrested and charged with break and enter to a dwelling house, arson and failure to comply with a probation order.

He was held in custody for a court appearance in Belleville on Monday.

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