Toronto police are investigating after they believe someone purposely tried to burn down a Radisson hotel east of the city. The building is currently housing over 550 refugees.
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On October 2nd, a hotel employee was alerted by a smoke alarm. Upon investigation, they discovered a flaming can of gas in one of the hallways. They were able to reach the can before the fire spread too far. They kicked it into a stairwell and put out the flame.
Last week, an employee found a lit gas can on the 3rd floor of a Toronto hotel, temporary housing for refugees.— CBC-The Current (@TheCurrentCBC) October 11, 2018
Police believe the fire was deliberately set and confirm a melted gasoline container and matches were found at the scene.https://t.co/TKCLoejQLK pic.twitter.com/Z8DbbZvuk9
Refugee families who were in the hotel at a time are calling the experience a total nightmare. One woman who currently lives at the Radisson with her husband and eight-month-old daughter spoke anonymously to CBC.
She said it was complete chaos as families woke from their beds to the terrifying alarms. "We were holding the children, even other people's children because they were in hurry and they were crying," she said.
Thankfully, no one was injured in the incident. However, the outcome could have been absolutely horrific. Police confirmed they found a pack of matches and the melted gas can at the scene.
Refugees of the hotel are terrified that the Radisson was targetted because of their presence. They say they are aware of anti-refugee groups who blame them for "taking taxes" and "taking money" as one person said to CBC.
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The same Radisson building is also believed to be featured in a video which was discovered online that expresses anti-refugee sentiments. The video was produced by a group that describes itself as "dedicated to promoting Nationalism and exposing the idiocy of the Left." In one scene, the words "free money" can be seen written in the hotel hallway.
In response to the recent events, extra security personnel has been hired at the hotel and more surveillance cameras have been installed.