Church Fires End With Arson Charge

(SAUGEEN FIRST NATION, ON) – On September 28, 2020 at 1:31 a.m., Grey Bruce Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were dispatched to a structure fire, Wesley United Church at Highway 21 on Saugeen First Nation. Two other structure fires at two additional churches were also reported to OPP, The Church of Jesus Christ and Saugeen Fellowship Baptist Church.

Saugeen Fist Nation Fire Department was assisted by Saugeen Shores Fire Department, from both Southampton and Port Elgin Stations.

A few hours later, OPP Canine Unit and OPP Emergency Response Team members located and arrested a suspect in a wooded area on Saugeen First Nation.

Grey Bruce OPP have charged 49 year old, Emric THOMPSON from Saugeen First Nation with Arson – Damage to Property, section 434 Criminal Code of Canada (CC) and Mischief Over $5,000, section 430(3) CC.

The accused was remanded into custody following a bail hearing in Ontario Court of Justice.

Grey Bruce OPP Crime Unit and Ontario Fire Marshall, are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the fires.

Anyone with information that can assist Grey Bruce OPP with this investigation, call 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a secure web-tip at, where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.

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