Airdrie man admits to burning down his house twice and pleads guilty to arson

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An Airdrie man has pleaded guilty to arson, admitting to setting his house on fire twice in 2016, including when contractors were weeks away from completing needed repairs after the first fire.

Shaun Sandbach has pleaded guilty to causing damage by fire or explosion to his home on Silver Springs Way in north-west Airdrie.

On April 13, 2016, Sandbach called 911 to report that her house was on fire.

“There was significant physical damage to the residence…there was also significant financial cost associated with the fire,” read an agreed statement of facts read aloud by prosecutor Ron Simenik.

Sandbach first told investigators that he was the victim of arson, according to the document.

RCMP and an Airdrie fire investigator determined the fire to be arson.

Sandbach now admits he was the one who started the fire.

In December 2016, Shane Sandbach started two fires, including this one under a staircase using rags soaked in thinner. (exhibit)

An insurance claim was initiated by Sandbach in April 2016, and for the rest of the year contractors worked to rebuild.

On December 31, 2016, they were weeks away from completing repairs when a neighbor called 911 to report that Sandbach’s house was on fire again.

The Airdrie Fire Department responded and discovered two intentional fires at the home.

One was in the basement under a staircase where two boxes had been placed containing rags soaked in linseed oil.

The second was under the wooden stairs in the garage where another cardboard box containing still-smoldering rags was discovered.

Firefighters also discovered a Home Depot bucket next to an empty solvent canister.

Investigators found CCTV footage showing Sandbach buying the items and then taking them home the day before the fire.

Justice Michele Hollins of the Court of Queen’s Bench will hear oral arguments from Simenik and defense attorney Sarvesh Jeet in May.

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