Man charged in Vancouver Masonic hall arson; police still investigating North Shore fires

Fire crews battle a blaze at the Duke of Connaught Lodge No. 64 (North Vancouver Masonic Centre) in North Vancouver on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Shane MacKichan)Fire crews battle a blaze at the Duke of Connaught Lodge No. 64 (North Vancouver Masonic Centre) in North Vancouver on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Shane MacKichan)
Fire fighters attend a fire at a Masonic Temple in North Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, March 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan HaywardFire fighters attend a fire at a Masonic Temple in North Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, March 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
The aftermath of the fire at the Park Lodge Masonic Hall in Vancouver on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Shane MacKichan)The aftermath of the fire at the Park Lodge Masonic Hall in Vancouver on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Shane MacKichan)

A 42-year-old man has been charged with arson and assault in connection to set of fires at three Masonic Temples in Vancouver and North Vancouver on Tuesday (March 30) morning.

According to Vancouver police, charges were approved Wednesday against Benjamin Kohlman, 42. Kohlman has been charged with one count of arson and one count of assault of a police officer pertaining to the blaze at Park Lodge Masonic Hall at Rupert Street and East 29 Avenue. Firefighters said the fire was small, only in the lobby and did not engulf the building like what happened in the North Shore incidents. Two other suspected arsons, one at Lynn Valley Lodge and at the Duke of Connaught Lodge No. 64 (North Vancouver Masonic Centre, are still being investigated. All three first broke out within less than an hour, starting with the North Shore ones at about 6:45 a.m.

Const. Tania Visintin said that police anticipate recommending charges relating to the North Vancouver fires to Crown counsel in the coming weeks.

Kohlman will remain in custody until his next court appearance.

READ MORE: Man arrested after fires at three Masonic Temples in Vancouver, North Vancouver


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CrimeVancouver

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Linda Sanky photo
Vehicle fire spreads to trees at Penticton beach spot

The fire is at Pyramid beach, off Highway 97 between Summerland and Penticton

Over 300 participants, aged nine to 99 contributed to this yarn bomb outside the Penticton Art Gallery, near the bridge going to the Japanese Gardens. (Penticton Art Gallery)
Penticton has been yarn bombed

Penticton Art Gallery is hoping to yarn bomb even more trees around town but needs your help

Oliver Fire Department. (Submitted photo)
More human caused fires in Oliver

Firefighters have been kept busy putting out several potentional wildfires

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Through their Simple Generosity campaign, Valley First has pledged to donate $1 million of community support to British Columbia communities in 2021. (Contributed)
Valley First rewarding Penticton families with innovative way to thrive together

Participants with ‘inspiring ideas’ will receive a surprise for their family, valued at up to $2,500

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Firefighters battled a burning home on farmland in the north end of Vernon Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Homeowner taken to hospital after Vernon home destroyed by fire

Firefighters engaged in a lengthy battle against the engulfed structure Saturday afternoon

Members of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society received a cheque for $1,500 Thursday, April 15, 2021. The funds are to help the society’s efforts as they prepare take over operation of the Vernon Towne Cinema at the end of July. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Okanagan dealership gives local cinema a lift

Vernon Watkin Motor Ford, in business for more than 100 years, donated to the theatre with nearly as long a history

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over in surgical unit of Vernon hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

A group of youth in Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park are suspected as having violated the B.C. Wildlife Act by harassing a pair of nesting bald eagles with a drone Friday, April 16, 2021. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Nesting bald eagles harassed by youth-piloted drone in Kelowna

Conservation Officers are hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed the Knox Mountain incident

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Most Read