After a 10-day closure, classes at Emily Carr University finally reopened today, on Tuesday, October 15 after a small fire in the university’s campus building on Saturday, October 5. After an investigation by the VPD into the cause of the fire, it was found that a Vancouver man may be responsible for starting the Emily Carr University fire.
Nathan MacLeod, a 40-year-old Vancouver man, has been charged with two counts of break and enter and one count of arson for a fire that damaged Emily Carr University this month according to a press release from the Vancouver Police Department. He was arrested on Friday, October 11 and has remained in custody. He is set to appear in front of the Vancouver Provincial Court today, on Tuesday, October 15.
VPD officers were called to Emily Carr University, located at 520 East 1st Avenue, shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 5, after Vancouver Fire Rescue Services responded to the suspicious fire.
While there is no clear motive yet that explains why MacLeod allegedly started the fire, more details will be released to the public soon after MacLeod’s hearing in front of the Vancouver Provincial Court, according to Sergeant Aaron Roed, in a phone interview with Narcity Media.
“He’s before the courts right now, and I can’t make any guesses on why he did it yet," said Sergeant Roed.
While the fire that was started on Saturday, October 5 was fully extinguished by the university’s sprinkler system, the water from the sprinkler system caused a significant amount of damage to walls and ceilings, according to a statement from the university.
“While every effort is being made to get Emily Carr back to its original state, unfinished walls or relocated shops, classrooms and studios will be a regular part of many students’ experiences for several weeks,” the University’s press release stated.
Narcity spoke with Rob Maguire, the Director of Marketing and Communications at Emily Carr University, and asked him what was being done to amp up security measures at the university following this arson incident.
"We are reviewing our security protocols and procedures to see what can be learned from this incident. We have also increased the round-the-clock security presence on campus while the restoration work is in progress," said Maguire.
Anyone who has information relating to this incident is asked to please contact the VPD’s Major Crime Section at 604-717-2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Emily Carr University made the news last month when it was one of the only Western Canadian universities to let their students participate in the Climate Strike.
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