July 18 fire that damaged Butter Chicken Express deliberately set and police are looking for suspect

Man who set fire using gasoline purchased at Petro-Canada station may have suffered burns to his hands

Thompson RCMP are asking for the public’s help identifying a man who bought a small bottle filled with gasoline and then set fire to the Butter Chicken Express Indian restaurant in the Thompson Plaza parking lot July 18.

“The investigation has determined that a male suspect filled a small bottle with gasoline at a nearby gas station, paid for it, and then walked over to the business and started the fire,” said RCMP in a July 19 press release. “He is believed to have suffered burns to his hands.”

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Security cameras at the gas station captured images of the suspect.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect or has information about this arson can call Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477. Tips can also be submitted online at www.maniobacrimestoppers.com.

RCMP officers leaving the local detachment noticed smoke around 3:35 a.m. Thursday morning.

"Officers attended the scene and a business on Selkirk Ave was fully engulfed in flames." said Manitoba RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Julie Courchaine, at which point Thompson Fire & Emergency Services was contacted and arrived to extinguish the blaze.

"Despite encountering heavy fire conditions on arrival, crews were able to contain the fire and save the structure," said the Thompson Professional Firefighters Association on their Facebook page. "During the course of the incident one firefighter received light injuries and is being assessed at TGH [Thompson General Hospital]. The firefighter will make a full recovery. The RCMP continues to secure the incident. Our brother organization of the Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) will be assisting with investigative services."

Courchaine said the Office of the Fire Commissioner would be attending the scene July 18

One of the first two fixed-location Indian restaurants in Thompson, along with Holy Spice, which recently moved from the Burntwood Hotel to the old Wong's Asian Bistro location in the same building as the Shell gas station on Thompson Drive South, Butter Chicken Express opened in February 2016. It was established by Kal Singh and his wife Belbebr Singh, who are both from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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