Winnipeg man charged with 2nd-degree murder following fatal Christmas morning apartment fire

A 26-year-old man faces two counts of second degree murder following a fire on Christmas day that claimed the lives of two Manitobans. Mike Albanese has more.

By News Staff

Police say a 26-year-old Winnipeg man was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the deadly Christmas morning apartment fire on Qu’Appelle Avenue.

BACKGROUND: Two dead in Christmas morning apartment building fire: police

The Winnipeg Police Service allege Ethan Gage Shaydon Powderhorn lit two fires in a suite of the building that morning – including the one that ultimately killed two people and injured four others.

Police have identified the deceased as 63-year-old Roger Glen Doblej and 70-year-old Suzanne Helen McCooeye. They were among those taken to hospital that morning, where they died of their injuries.

Investigators believe the accused lit a first “minor” fire at 12:19 a.m., which was put out by a WFPS firefighter “using a pail of water and a pump can.” WPS was not involved in that incident.

“The second fire, at approximately 4:03 a.m., was more significant and engulfed the suite – causing heat and smoke that spread throughout the building,” police said in a statement. “WFPS members fought the fire from inside while simultaneously searching suites and evacuating residents.”

WATCH: Building fire in downtown Winnipeg

Six people were sent to hospital, including Doblej and McCooeye. Three men and one woman, who range in age from 47 to 49, were injured.

The WPS also believes the accused was responsible for a Dec. 10 garbage fire on Kennedy Street that caused $500 worth of damage.

Shaydon Powderhorn was charged with second-degree murder, arson with disregard for human life and arson causing property damage. He was detained.

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