A 26-year-old male has been arrested and formally charged with arson for the December 14, 2021 fire that gutted the Kimberley Gymnastics Club.
Reminton Hills has been charged with one count of arson for allegedly “intentionally or recklessly” causing damage by fire to the Kimberley Gymnastics Club, according to a court document filed on Jan. 14 in Cranbrook.
Hills was scheduled for a bail hearing on Monday, Jan. 17, but court records did not indicate where the proceedings, held virtually due to COVID-19 protocols, were being heard.
Kimberley RCMP lauded the investigatory work and patience of the community.
“I’m very pleased for the community, I’m very happy that we were able to put this investigation together and arrest someone,” said Kimberley RCMP Detachment Commander Sgt. Steven Woodcox. “These matters have been pressing on the community and us, and these investigations are just very lengthy and I want to thank the public for having some patience in us.”
In their press release the Kimberley RCMP extended their thanks to the public and witnesses who came forward with assistance with the investigation.
“In most of these cases of arson, after the fact a lot of the evidence has been destroyed and we rely heavily on witnesses and what they either see or hear, so what I can say is we are very thankful for the witnesses that did come forward,” Woodcox said.
“I’m not going to comment too much, because this thing is now before the court, but I can say that the witnesses that did contact us and we made contact with, that is what changed the investigation and we garnered a lot of evidence off of the witnesses that we spoke to.”
Woodcox said that this suspect is “well known” to police, but said that there is no evidence that would link this fire with the fire at Kimberley Alpine Resort.
Woodcox stressed the importance of witnesses coming forward and said he hopes the same could happen with the KAR arson investigation.
“We never get a video of this occurring so we’re relying after the fact on witnesses and what they hear or what they see and it’s no different in this case,” he said. “We had some people call with some very crucial information that led to the arrest of this individual and we’re hopeful that that continues with the ski hill and we can solve that for the community as well.”
Anyone with information that could help them with their ongoing information into the KAR fire can reach the Kimberley RCMP detachment at 250-427-4811.
More to come.