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Suspect in explosive Vernon arson will go to trial next year

Lorne Paananen is charged with arson following an incident that occurred July 19, 2022
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A fire broke out at a two-storey townhouse in the 4200 block of 20th Street in Vernon’s Harwood area July 18, 2022. Lorne Paananen is charged with arson and will stand trial Feb. 14, 2024. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

A man charged with arson in relation to a fire that broke out at a Vernon townhouse last summer is set to stand trial early next year.

Lorne Paananen is charged with arson following a blaze that took place on July 18, 2022. His trial is set for Feb. 14, 2024 in Vernon before a judge and jury, confirmed Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the BC Prosecution Service.

The fire took place at a two-storey townhouse in the 4200 block of 20th Street in Vernon’s Harwood area shortly before 11 p.m. No one was injured as the units were empty when crews arrived.

Emergency responders had received a report of a possible explosion at the townhouse, which had one of its front windows shattered. A person walking along the street at the time told The Morning Star she heard “this big boom, and a bunch of (debris) came out onto the road.”

Paananen, born in 1981, was arrested the next day.

Paananen’s trial is expected to last nine days.

READ MORE: Vernon arson suspect’s trial set for next spring

READ MORE: Man arrested for arson in Kelowna convenience store blaze


Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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