According to an agreed statement of facts provided by the Court of Queen's Bench in Calgary, Airdronian Shaun Lee Sandbach, who pled guilty to arson — damage to property on March 07th, 2022, had been caught on CCTV camera footage at a local Home Depot, purchasing items that were later identified in the course of a fire investigation to be responsible for the blaze.
One day before the December 31st, 2016 fire, Sandbach purchased linseed oil, boxes of rags, and an orange Home Depot pail.
"The Airdrie Fire Investigator confirmed that the source of the first fire, under the basement stairs, were two cardboard boxes placed under the staircases and which contained burnt rags. They also located a Home Depotpail in which an empty 11 bottle of linseed oil and which also contained cedar shims. "
According to fire investigators linseed oil, when dried, can create heat when combined with rags in a confined area, "spontaneous combustion can be readily anticipated." Given that both fires were located in similar, but separate areas and had similar characteristics, it was the opinion of fire investigators that the fires were intentionally set. Sandbach initially claimed he had been a victim of arson, though he did later admit to being responsible for the April 13th, 2016 fire as well as the subsequent December 31st, 2016 fire.
Sandbach would file an insurance claim after the first fire to his home.
"Mr. Sandbach initiated an insurance claim with his insurer to repair his home. Throughout 2016, at the direction of his insurer, contractors attended to his residence for the purpose of repairing and rebuilding it after the fire."
Sandbach pled guilty to both the April 2016 arson and December 2016 arson.
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