Man charged in Toronto arson faces 29 more charges
Published Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3:27PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 31, 2012 7:08PM EDT
A man accused of setting a fire that destroyed a downtown Toronto heritage building now faces 29 additional charges in relation to other fires.
New court documents filed Tuesday mean Stewart Poirier, 53, will face additional charges after his initial arrest on July 16.
That arrest stemmed from an incident on Jan. 3, 2011 when a historic building at 335 Yonge Street went up in flames and two firefighters were injured when they fell six metres from the icy rooftop.
The fire, in a building just north of Dundas Street, took 125 crew members to knock down and caused an estimated $3 million in damage.
At the time of Poirier’s arrest, police said additional charges were likely.
New charges filed Tuesday relate to 13 fires in the downtown core, which occurred between April 2010 and July 2012.
"A lot of the other fires were either on bicycle paths or in dumpsters behind residences. It seemed as though they were perhaps fires of opportunity,” Det. Const. Mark Kennedy told CTV Toronto’s Tamara Cherry.
Poirier has already been convicted of arson. He set fire to Inglewood Arms, a rooming house at 295 Jarvis Street.
“I don't know if he became disgruntled with us, particularly, but something caused him to set a fire in the closet of his room. He lit his clothing on fire and then took off,” said Inglewood Arms manager Adam Mernick.
Poirier pleaded guilty to that crime, which occurred about a month after the Yonge Street fire.
Poirier served time in prison for the crime and was on probation when police arrested him again.
One of his probation conditions was that he could not possess anything that could be used to start a fire.
Two of the fires in question happened at Poirer's Toronto Community Housing apartment on Sackville Street.
The first fire at the apartment was in April 2012.
The city fixed the building and there was another fire in July, two days after Poirier moved back in.
In addition to arson charges, Poirier faces charges in relation to a smashed window at a downtown shelter and death threats uttered against a Toronto police officer.
Police said they are looking at more fires in the downtown core that could lead to additional charges.
Poirier’s lawyer said he will seek bail for his client.
With files from CTV Toronto’s Tamara Cherry
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