A 37-year-old man is facing first-degree murder and arson charges following a March 31 fatal fire at this home in West Park. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)

Fatal fire leads to murder and arson charges for Red Deer man

21-year-old woman died in hospital following March 31 West Park fire

A Red Deer man is facing first-degree murder and arson charges in connection with a fatal March 31 fire in West Park.

RCMP said they were called to a structure fire about 3:30 a.m. on 39th Street near 54th Avenue in West Park.

Red Deer Emergency Services determined the fire started in the basement of a multi-unit residence. A man and a woman were found inside a unit and taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The 21-year-old woman died from her injuries in hospital. Police said the cause of death will not be released.

A 37-year-old man was later released from hospital and then arrested by police.

A neighbour said the home has long been a rental and was sold to new owners around six months ago.

An upstairs tenant told her that power and gas had not been restored and a number of residents have had to find somewhere else to stay.

The tenant said he had been told that a gas line had been involved in some way with the incident.

There was no obvious fire damage to the home, which had children’s toys, flowers and a bicycle frame in the front yard along with an overflowing full recycling bin. A screen was lying next to a basement window.

Richard Raymond is facing charges of first-degree murder and arson. He was due in Red Deer provincial court on Thursday.

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