Okanagan inmate charged with setting fire in jail cell

RCMP have charged Lawrence Jordan Brown with arson. Courtesy of RCMP

A South Okanagan man whom RCMP have called a prolific offender has been charged with two counts of arson in connection to a fire that took place in a jail cell in February.

Lawrence Jordan Brown, 29, is alleged to have lit his belongings, bedding and mattress on fire on Feb. 5 at the Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC), a provincial jail located near Oliver off Highway 97.

The Oliver Fire Department was called to the OCC around 3 a.m., and found a lot of smoke, but was able to quickly douse the blaze in a cell occupied by one man.

“There was an individual in his cell that lit some of his stuff on fire,” Oliver fire chief Bob Graham told Global News.

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“He possibly mixed some chemicals together to make something to drink, sugar and whatever, to make alcohol,” Graham said, but was unsure exactly what started the fire.

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Brown has been charged with arson in relation to an inhabited property and arson damaging property.

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He remains in custody, having also been charged with breaching conditions of a conditional sentence he received for a May 2019 incident involving operation of a vehicle near Penticton.

Brown’s case will be back in court May 20.

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