A man has been arrested after allegedly breaking into a business and apartment complex in Brandon and setting it ablaze in a fire that completely destroyed the building, police say.
Officers were called to a business on 12th Street in downtown Brandon at about 3:30 a.m. Monday morning after an employee reported a break-in, according to a Brandon police news release on Monday.
The employee told police they could smell smoke coming from one office and that fire alarms were going off.
Officers arrived as the building filled with smoke and said they found a 33-year-old man who had broke in by smashing the front glass door of the building, according to the release.
The man subsequently started a fire in the business located in the basement, beneath the apartment, Brandon police Const. Jason Medwechuk said.
Police removed the man from the building and helped the employee and more than 10 apartment tenants get out safely.
“It was quite dynamic and quite quickly performed by our general patrol members,” said Medwechuk. “They were on scene in a very short period of time to have the accused in custody and began evacuating occupants.”
The fire engulfed the building shortly after and “the business is believed to be a complete loss,” according to the news release.
The 33-year-old man faces of breaking and entering and arson with disregard for human life.
No injuries have been reported, said Const. Medwechuk, and Salvation Army has stepped in to help tenants displaced by the fire.