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Fire forces evacuation of Carmanville shelter, resident charged with arson

This former seniors home in Carmanville has been turned into emergency temporary housing for clients of the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corportation. (Chérie Wheeler/CBC - image credit)
This former seniors home in Carmanville has been turned into emergency temporary housing for clients of the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corportation. (Chérie Wheeler/CBC - image credit)
This former seniors home in Carmanville has been turned into emergency temporary housing for clients of the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corportation.
This former seniors home in Carmanville has been turned into emergency temporary housing for clients of the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corportation.

A former seniors' home in Carmanville has been turned into emergency temporary housing for clients of the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. Police say a resident of the shelter set fire to it Sunday evening. (Chérie Wheeler/CBC)

The RCMP say a resident of a controversial emergency housing shelter in Carmanville, N.L., set fire to it Sunday evening.

In an email to CBC News, the RCMP say they received a report of fire at the building, on Howell Avenue in the town, around 6:30 p.m. Residents had to be evacuated and were take taken to a new location outside the town. The building suffered water damage as crews worked to put out the fire, said police.

Residents of the community, about 60 kilometres north of Gander, have told CBC News they're concerned that shelter residents don't have adequate access to support like mental health counselors or a medical clinic.

The shelter was set up in May to free up hotel rooms in Gander occupied by Newfoundland and Labrador Housing clients. Police told CBC News they've made nine calls to the shelter in recent months but don't consider that an unusual number.

The RCMP say the accused was held in custody overnight and was scheduled to appear in court Monday, facing charges of arson, assault, disregard for human life, mischief under $5,000 and failing to comply with a release order condition.

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