Downtown fire burns business, apartments

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Photo: Joy Klassen

On 2023-11-20 at 0320 hrs, police received a report from an employee that someone had broken into the building at 144 12th ST through the front door.  At the time of the call, the employee stated that the fire alarm was sounding and that they could smell smoke from one of the offices which they were hiding. Police entered the building as it was filling up with smoke and located a 33-year-old male who broke in by smashing the front glass door and starting the fire. The employee and five apartments within the same building with more than 10 occupants were evacuated by police.  Shortly after, the building became fully engulfed with flames.  The buisiness is believed to be a complete loss and the area remains cordoned off while BFES continues to monitor for possible flair ups.  The suspect has been lodged at BPS to appear in court 2023-11-20 for the charges of Break and Enter, and Arson with Disregard for Human Life.