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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.

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“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.

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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