Police have released the name of the man charged in connection to a northwest fire that destroyed five homes.

Russell Hugh McDougall, 33, is facing a number of charges including 16 counts of arson.

Investigators say the fire started in a home that had a marijuana grow-op in the basement. The cause was electrical and a result of numerous electrical code deficiencies.

The fire happened on December 5th in the 0-100 block of Citadel Forest Place N.W.

Investigators believe McDougall arrived at the house just as the fire was starting.

He allegedly entered the home and tried to rescue his two dogs but was unable to get them.

McDougall allegedly left the scene without calling 911 or alerting his neighbours.

Five homes were completely destroyed and two homes were severely damaged.

No people were injured in the blaze but four dogs and eight cats were killed.

The total damage is estimated at $3.8-million.

"Was it worth it to do that to five families," asks Evert Jagt who lost his home in the fire. "There's been major disruption to our lives and we're still not in our house, we're living in a basement suite."

Police say this was the largest blaze, in Western Canada, caused by a marijuana grow-op.