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Man charged with arson in connection with fire at Masonic Hall in Vancouver

Click to play video: 'Charges laid in one of three arson attacks on Metro Vancouver Masonic Halls' Charges laid in one of three arson attacks on Metro Vancouver Masonic Halls
Charges have been laid in one of three arson attacks on Masonic Halls in Metro Vancouver. John Hua has the details and a look at the wide-ranging conspiracy theories on a social media site bearing the suspect's name – Mar 31, 2021

Charges have been laid against a 42-year-old man in connection with one of the three suspicious fires set in Metro Vancouver Tuesday.

Benjamin Kohlman has been charged with three offences linked to an arson at the Masonic Hall near Rupert Street and East 29 Avenue in Vancouver.

Click to play video: 'Man spotted with jerrycan near site of Masonic hall fire' Man spotted with jerrycan near site of Masonic hall fire
Man spotted with jerrycan near site of Masonic hall fire – Mar 30, 2021

He is charged with arson, assault of a peace officer and failing to stop for a peace officer.

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Video shared with Global News shows an undercover officer approaching a man with a jerry can as the building behind him smoulders.

The fire in Vancouver broke out shortly after two Masonic halls in North Vancouver went up in flames earlier in the morning.

Vancouver police said they are crediting the off-duty officer for confronting the suspect, who was later arrested in Burnaby.

Click to play video: 'Police arrest suspect involved in three Metro Vancouver Masonic Hall arson attacks' Police arrest suspect involved in three Metro Vancouver Masonic Hall arson attacks
Police arrest suspect involved in three Metro Vancouver Masonic Hall arson attacks – Mar 30, 2021

Read more: Arrest made after arsons at 3 separate Masonic halls in Metro Vancouver

A Masonic Temple or Masonic centre is where the fraternal organization Freemasons meet.

Right Worshipful Brother Dave Goddard of the Freemasons of British Columbia and Yukon told Global News Tuesday he believes both the centres in North Vancouver were destroyed.

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He said they had not received any threatening calls or messages lately from anyone.

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