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

Prospera Place in Kelowna. (Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
Kelowna Rockets return to the ice after COVID-19 quarantine

All individuals within the team cohort tested negative for COVID-19 earlier this week

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
Man arrested in West Kelowna for stealing police bait car

The suspect has been identified as Raymond Francis Thiffault of Kamloops, who already had an outstanding Canada-wide warrant.

Rose Valley Elementary School. (Contributed)
Central Okanagan School sees second COVID-19 exposure in two days

An exposure was identified at Rose Valley Elementary on April 12 and 13

(Natalia Cuevas-Huaico - Kelowna Capital News)
The Central Okanagan Food Bank said it has seen an increase in people who need help as the pandemic continues. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News/FILE)
Increase in families, seniors using Central Okanagan Food Bank as pandemic continues

Current restrictions have hit the Okanagan’s hospitality workers hard

Arlene Howe holds up a picture of her son, Steven, at a memorial event for drug overdose victims and their families at Kelowna’s Rotary Beach Park on April 14. Steven died of an overdose at the age of 32 on Jan. 31, 2015. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Moms Stop the Harm members placed crosses Wednesday morning, April 14, on Rotary Beach in memory of children lost to drug overdoses. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Kelowna mothers remember children lost to the opioid crisis

It has been five years since illicit drug deaths was announced a public health emergency

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
WATCH: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Hikers are still able to climb to the top of Giant’s Head Mountain in Summerland, but the paved road to the upper parking lot will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon and all day on Sundays. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland park partially closed to vehicle traffic

Giant’s Head Mountain Park gates will be closed to cars until noon

Young cyclists from Quebec have not been riding single file on Naramata’s narrow and windy roads, causing the ire of locals worried for their safety and theirs. (Dan Moskaluk)
Quebec cyclists bad road behaviour causing stir in Penticton

The young cycling group illegally riding two-abreast on Naramata’s narrow roads

MP Todd Doherty took to Facebook after his family recently received threats. (Todd Doherty, MP Facebook photo)
‘I don’t run and I don’t hide’: Cariboo MP says RCMP probing threats made against family

Todd Doherty has also notified House of Commons Protective Services

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

The music video for “Green and Blue” featured a Willington Care Centre in Burnaby as well as some of the volunteers and employees. (Screenshot/Todd Richard)
‘Green and Blue’: B.C. country musician releases tribute song for front-line workers

Richard’s new single has been viewed more than 3,000 times on his YouTube channel

Most Read