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Man charged in connection with fire at historic hotel in Wetaskiwin

A fire broke out at the historic Rose Country Inn in Wetaskiwin, Alta. Tuesday, March 19, 2019. .
A fire broke out at the historic Rose Country Inn in Wetaskiwin, Alta. Tuesday, March 19, 2019. . Courtesy, Wetaskiwin RCMP

A 37-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with a blaze at a historic hotel in central Alberta six weeks ago, RCMP said Thursday.

Firefighters were called to the Rose County Inn in Wetaskiwin, Alta., in the early morning hours of March 19. Crews from three separate fire departments were on scene and the blaze resulted in two of the building’s walls collapsing. The building first opened as a hotel in 1904.

Shortly after the fire broke out, fire department officials said everyone made it out of the building safely.

READ MORE: Firefighters battle blaze at historic Wetaskiwin hotel

Watch below: (From March 19, 2019) Firefighters in Wetaskiwin continue to battle a blaze at a historic hotel. Fletcher Kent reports.

Fire breaks out at historic hotel in Wetaskiwin
Fire breaks out at historic hotel in Wetaskiwin

Police arrested Benjamin Kopp at a residence in Wetaskiwin on Wednesday, the RCMP said in a news release. He has since been charged with one count of arson/disregard for human life and two counts of arson/damage to property.

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“Working directly with the community has greatly assisted the Wetaskiwin RCMP in arresting the accused,” the RCMP said on Thursday.

Kopp is next scheduled to appear in court in Wetaskiwin on May 9.

Wetaskiwin is located about 70 kilometres south of Edmonton.

–With files from Global News’ Caley Ramsay