A member of the Grande Prairie RCMP and a police dog search the area of Muskoseepi Park, Grande Prairie, Alberta, March 15, 2012. (ADAM JACKSON/ QMI AGENCY FILE)
SASKATCHEWAN -A Saskatchewan man is charged with arson after a police dog followed footprints from a burning home in Springfield.
Mounties spotted a residence on fire in the rural municipality about 2 a.m. on Feb. 27 while investigating an abandoned vehicle. Officers went inside to see if anyone was inside the home and were forced back by the heat and smoke. It was later determined that the homeowners were not inside at the time.
As firefighters worked to contain the blaze, police discovered footprints leading away from the scene. A canine unit was called in to follow the tracks and a found a man hiding in a heavily wooded area near the fire scene.
Michael Ian Strachan, 52, of North Battleford, Sask., has been charged with a number of offences including arson - damage to property. He remains in custody.
The home was completely destroyed by the fire. A damage estimate is not yet available, RCMP said Friday.