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A man is facing murder charges after two people died in a Winnipeg apartment fire on Christmas morning.

Police say two fires were started in a suite in the apartment block in the city’s downtown.

They say the first blaze was minor and was quickly extinguished by firefighters, but the second fire about four hours later was more significant and engulfed the suite.

Six people were sent to hospital, where two of them later died.

Investigators say they believe the accused is also responsible for a garbage bin fire downtown last month, which resulted in about $500 worth of damage.

Ethan Gage Shaydon Powderhorn, who is 26, has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder, as well as other charges related to arson.

Police have identified the two people who died as a result of the apartment fire as Roger Glen Dobleg, 63, and Suzanne Helen McCooeye, 70.

The other victims include three men and one woman between the ages of 47 and 79.