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Psychiatric assessment pending for accused arsonist

The Grand Forks Hotel during the early dawn of March 7. Photo Dan Perkins.

A request for bail was adjourned pending a psychiatric assessment for accused arsonist, Christopher James Cusack.

Cusack, a 47 year-old Grand Forks resident, appeared in the Grand Forks courthouse yesterday, Tuesday, March 20.

He faces two counts of arson endangering life in connection with the fires at the Grand Forks Hotel and the Winnipeg Hotel on March 7 and could be sentenced a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Cusack has been in custody since Grand Forks RCMP apprehended him only hours after the fires were reported in the early morning hours of March 7.

Cusack has appeared in Rossland court multiple times already, but no plea has yet been made. He is scheduled to reappear in Rossland court on Thursday, April 12 with his psychiatric report.

Grand Forks Hotel was completely destroyed by the fires that consumed it on March 7 and the Winnipeg Hotel has sustained smoke damage. About 20 people were reportedly displaced by the fire.