Murder, arson charges laid after baby dies in Edmonton fire
Edmonton police have charged two former tenants in connection with a fire that killed an infant and displaced seven people from their home.
Bronson Woycenko, 19, and Jessica Tammerand, 18, were arrested Friday.
Woycenko was charged with second-degree murder, arson, disregard for human life and mischief under $5,000, police said Saturday. Tammerand was charged with arson, disregard for human life and mischief under $5,000.
The fire overnight Tuesday sent eight residents of the house to hospital.
Patio furniture was set on fire on the porch of the home at 1040 Armitage Cres., police said in a release Saturday.
Five-month-old Hunter Brown died in hospital from smoke inhalation. Angie Tang, Hunter’s mother, remains in critical condition and is on a breathing tube. The baby’s father is homeowner Cordell Brown.
In a statement to CBC News on Sunday, Tang’s sister Judith Lam Tang said Angie is aware of the arrests.
“She is very touched by the outpouring of support from everyone,” the statement read. The GoFundMe page has been set up by the family and has raised more than $12,000 as of Sunday afternoon.
The statement also said Angie Tang is thinking about where Hunter will be buried.
Cordell Brown was arrested Friday on an “unrelated matter.”
He was also arrested Saturday under the Mental Health Act but was not charged, police said.
‘I just kept giving them chances’
Brown, in an interview late Saturday with CBC News, said Woycenko and Tammerand were tenants as recently as April. He said he evicted the two because they had caused problems.
“I just kept giving them chances because I thought if they had a stable home environment … they’d take that opportunity to learn and grow up,” Brown said.
Kyle Whitford, who lived in the basement at the time of the fire, said he saw the ex-tenants in the home from time to time and noticed problems between Woychenko and Brown. He was aware Brown had evicted Woychenko at least once.
Brown said now that charges have been laid, he feels safer.
Detectives continue to investigate.
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