Winnipeg couple faces arson, conspiracy charges in case where man critically injured in fire
Winnipeg police allege a man seriously injured in a fire was hired by the homeowners to deliberately torch their house in exchange for compensation.
"As far as fraud or insurance or something like that, I'm not going to speculate," said Const. Jason Michalyshen from Winnipeg police. "Certainly, all are possibilities."
Emergency crews responding to the blaze early Tuesday in the first 100 block of Fifth Avenue in the St. Vital neighbourhood found an injured man several blocks away.
He was taken to hospital in critical condition.
"An accelerant was used," said Michalyshen. "And while the individual was in the home and setting the fire, there was an explosion and a significant fire. His injuries are extensive."
Police say Todd Vandal, 40, faces charges of arson and conspiracy. He remains in custody.
His 32-year-old wife, Brooke Vandal, faces the same charges but was released on a promise to appear.
Todd Vandal will make his next court appearance Thursday and his wife will make her first appearance next month.
The pair has retained criminal defence lawyer Jeff Gindin who tells CTV News the couple denies any involvement in the explosion and fire, and plan to fight the charges.
Police have not charged the 26-year-old man who remains in hospital in critical condition but say the investigation is ongoing.
- with a report from CTV's Ben Miljure and files from The Canadian Press