Man has burns to 40% of his body and not under arrest yet: Police

kristen thompson/metro vancouver


Wreckage outside Taco Del Mar on West Broadway.

The suspect in an explosion that gutted two restaurants on West Broadway Avenue fled the scene in a cab and has burns covering 40 per cent of his body, Vancouver police said yesterday.

Detective Const. Rodger Shepard with the major crime arson squad said police were called after the suspect, whose name is not being released, arrived in an undisclosed hospital to be treated for burns.

He allegedly took one cab to flee the scene after starting a fire inside a Taco Del Mar on Broadway Avenue, and another to take him to hospital.

The Wednesday morning fire also destroyed a Starbucks coffee shop, hurled glass and debris for half a block in every direction and blew out nearby windows.

Shepard said the suspect has not yet been arrested.

"He’s under investigation and of course he’s not free to go, but we’re not concerned about a flight risk at this point."

"He’s pretty badly hurt, as far as my understanding," Shepard said, adding that the injuries are potentially life-threatening.

Police have video taken from a nearby building that allegedly shows the suspect fleeing the scene, as well as footage from the taxi used as a getaway.

"I would say that (he) did not do a good job, if you can call arson a good job at any point," said Shepard. "Obviously the plans, for lack of a better word, backfired."

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