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British Columbia Victoria police say fire that destroyed Plaza Hotel was arson; caretaker still missing

Thick smoke billows from the Plaza Hotel, in downtown Victoria, B.C., on May 6, 2019.

CHAD HIPOLITO/The Canadian Press

Victoria police say the fire that destroyed the abandoned Plaza Hotel last month was arson.

The fire started on May 6 and burned for days, covering parts of the city in a pall of smoke.

Police say they have been working with the Victoria Fire Department in a lengthy investigation to determine the case of the blaze.

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There was some concern that the building’s caretaker, Mike Draeger, may have been inside the hotel during the fire, and he remains missing.

Police have since released photos of Mr. Draeger with and without his long grey beard.

The department is asking that if anyone has information about the fire or of the location of Mr. Draeger to contact them.

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