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Landlord charged with arson in fire at Esquimalt rental duplex

A landlord has been charged with arson in connection with a fire at an Esquimalt home. Wei Li, the owner of the duplex at 318 Uganda Ave., was arrested hours after the Tuesday morning blaze.
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Firefighters responded to a fire at a home on Uganda Avenue, near Tillicum Road, in Esquimalt on Tuesday morning. Oct. 3, 2017

A landlord has been charged with arson in connection with a fire at an Esquimalt home.

Wei Li, the owner of the duplex at 318 Uganda Ave., was arrested hours after the Tuesday morning blaze. He appeared before a justice of the peace by telebail on Wednesday and is scheduled to appear in Victoria provincial court on Thursday.

“Investigators have one man in custody associated to the residence and the investigation is ongoing,” Victoria police said in a statement.

“It is believed that there is no risk to the public.”

Esquimalt firefighters responded to the duplex, in the Gorge area, after neighbours saw billowing smoke. The fire was extinguished and damage was contained to the garage.

Billy Montgomery, a tenant who lives in the duplex, said he is fighting an eviction notice from Li, who is his landlord.

A neighbour who lives across the street from the duplex said Victoria police were at the home three times in the four days before the fire and dozens of times since the summer.