Charges laid to arsonist after Masonic Hall fires in Vancouver and North Van

Mar 31 2021, 1:37 pm

Charges have been laid to an arsonist following three fires at Masonic halls in East Vancouver and North Vancouver.

The fires were set on Tuesday morning, the first of which was a structure fire at the Lynn Valley Lodge just before 6:45 am. Shortly after, around 7 am, police received reports of a second fire at the Duke of Connaught Lodge (North Vancouver Masonic Centre) on Lonsdale Avenue.

A third fire was reported at the Masonic Temple near Rupert Street and East 29th Avenue in East Vancouver before 7:30 am.

A joint investigation between the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and North Vancouver RCMP led officers to Burnaby, where a suspect was arrested near North Fraser and Marine Way. Charges were approved against the suspect on Wednesday.

Benjamin Kohlman, 42, has been charged with one count of arson and one count of assault of a police officer, based on the fire set in East Vancouver.

VPD Constable Tania Visintin says that police “anticipate recommending more charges to Crown council in the coming weeks related to the North Vancouver fires.”

Kohlman remains in custody until his next court appearance.

Vincent PlanaVincent Plana

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