A Thursday evening fire destroyed a rural home northwest of Sundre and RCMP have arrested the man they believe deliberately started the blaze.

Shortly before 9:30 p.m., emergency crews responded to a location in the Bearberry area near Secondary Highway 584 and encountered a home fully engulfed in flames.

According to RCMP, an investigation determined a 43-year-old man doused both the house and a 45-year-old woman inside the building with gasoline. The gasoline ignited after contacting a wood-burning stove.

The woman, the owner of the home, escaped from the structure uninjured and ran to a neighbour’s home to call 911.

Officers located and arrested the arson suspect near the scene.

The man, whose identity cannot be released as he has not been formally charged, is expected to face the following charges:

  • Arson (endangering the life of others)
  • Criminal Negligence
  • Assault with a Weapon
  • Unlawful confinement
  • Breach Probation

The town of Sundre is located approximately 100 kilometres northwest of Calgary.