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Man charged with arson from downtown fire

Stephen Anthony Snow faces up to 14 years in prison if found guilty of setting April 18 blaze that destroyed a Third Avenue tattoo shop

A suspect has been arrested and charged connection with a fire that destroyed a downtown business last month.

Stephen Anthony Snow, 27, remains in custody on one count each of arson damaging property and breaking and entering and committing an indictable offence, according to court records.

The counts stem from an April 18 early-morning fire that gutted the business, a tattoo shop in the 1100 block of Third Avenue. 

Firefighters from four halls were called to the scene at about 4 a.m. and arrived to find flames and heavy smoke pouring out of the front of the building.

They were able to contain the fire to the single business by attacking the blaze and pressurizing the adjacent units but damage was estimated at $1 million – a total loss.

In the aftermath, police released images from a video camera showing a man carrying a jerry can and of a pickup truck linked to the blaze.

Snow has an extensive criminal record for offences committed in Prince George, Vanderhoof, Williams Lake, Victoria and Western Communities on Vancouver Island. 

He is scheduled to appear in Williams Lake court via video conference on Wednesday for a hearing on whether he can be released on bail.

Arson damaging property carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.

At about the same time at the fire downtown, firefighters had also been called to a one at a four-plex in the 2100 block of Quince Street.

Two fire trucks were forced to redeploy from the Third Avenue blaze and off-duty fire fighters were called in to help with both fires.

Crews contained the four-plex fire to the original building, which suffered an estimated $500,000 in damages.

Prince George RCMP have said the cause of that fire was inconclusive and no suspects have been arrested.