Man pleads guilty to assault on night of 2010 Surrey apartment fire

Police initially recommended arson charge against Alvaro Flores, but Crown did not pursue.

A man accused of assault and uttering threats on the same night of a 2010 apartment blaze in Guildford pleaded guilty this week in Surrey Provincial Court.

Alvaro Flores, 30, was initially charged with two counts of assault, one count of uttering threats to cause bodily harm and one count of breach of undertaking.

On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to one count of assault and one count of uttering threats. The other charges were dropped.

The Dec. 12, 2010 assault occurred just prior to a suspicious fire at Bon Terra Apartments near 150 Street and 107 Avenue that destroyed six units in the North Surrey building.

Police had recommended a charge of arson/disregard for human life against Flores, but it was not pursued by Crown counsel.

Neil MacKenzie, spokesperson for the Criminal Justice Branch, said there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue the recommended arson charges against Flores.

“The Crown concluded there was not any substantial likelihood of conviction on any arson-related charge against him,” MacKenzie said. “The Crown reviewed the available evidence and concluded that there was insufficient evidence to reliably identify Mr. Flores as the person who was responsible for the fire.”

Evidence was also inconclusive as to how the fire was started, MacKenzie said.

Following the fire, police said Flores knew the woman in the first-floor suite where the fire originated, but would not elaborate on their relationship.

A pre-sentencing hearing on the assault and uttering threats charges haven’t been scheduled, but are expected in about eight weeks.