The Plaza Hotel caught fire on May 6. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victoria Police confirm downtown Plaza Hotel fire was arson

Live-in caretaker still unaccounted for

The Victoria Police Department has confirmed that the fire at the downtown Plaza Hotel was arson.

On May 6 a fire engulfed the property at 603 Pandora Ave., spreading smoke and ashes into the city for several days.

Early investigations touted the fire as “suspicious,” but no other information had been released.

READ MORE: Downtown Victoria fire deemed ‘suspicious’

One person is still unaccounted for in relation to the fire; live-in caretaker Mike Draeger has not been heard from since the day of the blaze.

Both the VicPD and the BC Coroners Service say no human remains were located in the debris.

Police are still interested in finding more information about Draeger, and with the announcement of arson released a new photo of him without a beard.

Victoria Police Released a new photo of unaccounted for caretaker Mike Draeger (File contributed/VicPD)

Details of the arson have not been released, but earlier comments from Victoria Fire Department Chief Paul Bruce alluded to the possibility of a fire accelerant in the building’s basement, saying that that the fire had “either [been] burning undetected for a long time, or there was rapid fire spread.”

ALSO READ: Downtown Victoria building failed two fire inspections before catching fire

The investigation into the case is ongoing.

In the meantime, the City of Victoria has approved the demolition of the remaining structures on site.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

BREAKING NEWS: Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Schmegelsky, McLeod

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Child struck by vehicle in front of elementary school in Nanaimo

Six-year-old girl taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital with non life-threatening injuries

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Chemainus River

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

One year later: Theo the giant pig settling into Sahtlam sanctuary

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Rainfall warning issued for east Vancouver Island

Warning issued for area from Nanoose Bay to Campbell River

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

Island Bakery in Cobble Hill to close

Cobble Hill store in business since 1982

Vancouver Island man arrested after police seize suspected illicit drugs in Nanoose Bay

Car impounded after Port Alberni driver clocked travelling at more than twice the posted speed limit

All Carlton Cards stores closing in the coming weeks

Schurman Retail Group stores across North America will close, including 79 in Canada

Nanaimo RCMP looking for man suspected of $25,000 credit fraud

Police allege suspect racked up debt under another person’s name

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Most Read