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Arson suspected in fire at the home of Ukrainian pastor in Victoria, BC

Victoria, BC, Canada
Credit: Brandon Godfrey/Wikipedia/Flickr/Creative Commons 2.0

Police suspect arson after the home of a Ukrainian pastor in Victoria, BC, Canada caught fire on April 20, 2022.

Yuriy Vyshnevskyy pastors a Ukrainian Catholic Church in Victoria, that is next door to the home, where he, his wife, and three daughters live.

At 1:15 AM, he was awakened by his wife who had left their bedroom after hearing a noise in their home.

CTV News explains:

She woke up to a “gulp, gulp” sound as gasoline was being poured through the mail slot next to their front door, Vyshnevskyy said.

Before Vyshnevskyy reached the bottom of the stairs, the gasoline was set ablaze while his three daughters, ages 5, 7 and 11, slept upstairs.

While Vyshnevskyy and his three daughters were able to escape, the fire department had to rescue his wife, who was trapped on a ledge of the 100-year-old second-story home.

Firefighters were also able to revive the family cat with a “special pet resuscitation device” after it was found unconscious.

READ: Victoria arson investigation underway after gas poured into home while family of 5 slept

But some are wondering if politics played a role:

The congress said the fire was likely motivated by Father Yuriy Vyshnevskyy’s support for Ukraine as Russia continues its invasion of the country.

RELATED: Victoria arson fire should be investigated as hate crime: Ukrainian Canadian Congress

If this proves true, it would not be the first time there have been politically motivated arson attacks on churches and a pastor’s home in Canada. READ: Suspects reportedly set fire to Canadian Pastor Artur Pawlowski’s garage as his family slept: ‘All in the name of tolerance’

RELATED: ‘A Huge Blessing’: Canadian Congregation Raises over $700,000 to Rebuild Church following Arson Attack ANDBurn it all down’: Head of B.C. civil liberties group resigns over tweet about church fires

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