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Coquitlam man charged with arson in Harbour Chines home fire

Every resident made it out of the building with no injuries reported.
striking match arson getty images
A lit match and flame. | Getty Images

A 39-year-old man has been charged with arson as it's believed he intentionally started a fire at a Coquitlam home this week.

No one was injured in the Harbour Chines neighbourhood incident, but RCMP believe the victims and suspect were known to each other.

Danny Rusnak is still in police custody, according to spokesperson Cpl. Alexa Hodgins, and is due to make another court appearance at a later date.

She said officers were called to a fire at a residence near the intersection of Como Lake Avenue and Schoolhouse Street around 9:35 a.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 11).

All occupants inside were evacuated before police arrived on scene, firefighters extinguished the flames and victim services was activated.

Police then found Rusnak "a short distance away," Hodgins said, and was charged on Thursday (Jan. 12) following an investigation.

This includes:

  • One count = arson — disregard for human life
  • One count = possession of incendiary materials

The file has since been taken over by Coquitlam RCMP's Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

"Police do not believe there is any ongoing threat to the general public," Hodgins added in a release.

However, this is the third known fire set to a Coquitlam residential building in as many weeks following two suspicious blazes at Whitgift Gardens' Building 5 (550 Cottonwood Ave.), including one that took place Christmas Eve (Dec. 24).

All 26 occupants in the seven-suite Concert Properties complex were evacuated that night, and were temporarily displaced as the building was empty during the second fire on Monday night (Jan. 9).

Mounties are investigating both incidents, as well.

Anyone with more information about the Jan. 11 arson is encouraged to call Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550 and quote file-number 2023-957.