Osoyoos RCMP are used to responding to fires to provide assistance, but last Thursday they were the ones placing the call for help.

Around 9:30 p.m., two officers were in the detachment working when they could smell what they thought was smoke.

According to a report from Cpl. Chris Manseau, the officers went outside to investigate and found the main entrance and front wall of the detachment on fire.

RCMP later determined an unknown suspect had used gasoline to start the fire.

Luckily, a passerby saw the fire and was already using water from his RV in an attempt to put it out.

While the officers were outside, a male returned with some flammable items — presumably to add to the fire.

The male was recognized from several recent dealings and was then immediately arrested.

The Osoyoos Fire Department attended and confirmed the fire was out. The building sustained minimal damage, however the potential for serious damage and injuries was significant.

“This situation could have been very dangerous for the members inside the detachment,” said Corporal Dave Smith, the Osoyoos RCMP Detachment Operations NCO. “Luckily a good samaritan was nearby and acted very quickly to put out the fire” .

Joseph McArthur-Pereira, 28, of Osoyoos BC, faces charges of Arson Endangering Life and Mischief Causing Danger to Life.

He made his first appearance in Penticton Provincial Court on July 26. His next Court appearance is scheduled for August 21.

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