Instead of celebrating his 21st birthday, Jacob O’Neil was sentenced at the Courtenay provincial courthouse for arson endangering a life.
O’Neil pleaded guilty last week to setting a fire at the Cona hostel on March 23..
Multiple people were forced to flee the fire before it severely damaged the building.
Judge Ronald Webb imposed an 18-month sentence minus nine months credit for time served, for a further nine months, with a recommendation the time be served at Guthrie House.
He was also placed on probation for three years. There was no specified monetary amount of damages provided.
O’Neil was not a guest at the hostel at the time, and it’s still unclear why he set the fire.
The hostel’s owner Brian Scott said he hopes O’Neil gets the help he needs.
The hostel hasn’t been repaired as insurance adjustors are still trying to decide whether to repair or rebuild what was damaged.