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

Just Posted

The cover of the newly redesigned Beaver Lodge Forest Lands activity guide. Photo courtesy Greenways Land Trust
Greenways redesigns Beaver Lodge activity guide

Guide has helped teach students for over a decade

Undersea cables are towed out into position. Photo Baylink Networks.
SRD looks at last-mile agreements for Connected Coast project

District to borrow up to $12 million — pending electoral approval

Crews work on construction of the new composting facility at the Campbell River landfill. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Environment group wishes Comox Strathcona compost site was in a better spot

Province has guidelines on siting, but they are not legal requirements

COVID-19 virus (file photo).
COVID-19 exposures reported for two Campbell River schools

Campbell River Christian School and Ecole des Deux Mondes are the schools involved

The seasonal Search and Rescue program will run between May to September. ( File photo/Canadian Coast Guard)
Coast Guard Inshore Rescue Program starting up next week

Teams have protocols in place to ensure COVID-19 safety

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Could Victoria skull fragment bring closure to an Island missing persons mystery?

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Most Read