Smithers man charged with arson causing bodily harm

Smithers man Edward Calvin Vanderdeen is facing three charges related to the fires at PIR late Sunday.

Smithers man Edward Calvin Vanderdeen, 49, has been charged with break and enter, arson causing bodily harm, and arson damaging property relating to two Sunday night fires set at Pacific Inland Resources.

Smithers RCMP said an employee who fought the fires was treated at the hospital and released. Damages were sustained to the electrical system in the main sawmill, and to the interior structure of an outbuilding.

The Smithers fire department and RCMP responded to the fires just after 10 p.m. Employees and firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze before it spread throughout the mill site.

Vanderdeen was found in the area without incident. A search warrant was later executed by police at the Vanderdeen’s Smithers residence.

Vanderdeen is scheduled to appear in court again on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. after his bail hearing was adjourned Monday.

The Tatlow Road mill was back up and running Tuesday.

Another fire was intentionally set at PIR on March 20. It was called in by the mill’s superintendent shortly after 11 p.m.

Flammable liquids were used at both incidents. Smithers RCMP could not say if the fires were related. Vanderdeen has not been charged in that incident, and is presumed innocent.

Exhibits seized from the scene are being examined by the Terrace RCMP Forensic Identification Section.

Anyone with information regarding the arson is asked to contact Smithers RCMP at 250-847-3233 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.