04/23/2015 07:13 EDT | Updated 07/21/2015 05:59 EDT

B.C. man suspected of starting 7 fires and a knife threat to appear in court

NANAIMO, B.C. - Mounties on Vancouver Island say they've arrested a 54-year-old man for allegedly starting seven random fires over three hours and threatening store employees with a knife.

Const. Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP says the man began about 6:30 a.m. Thursday by lighting a tree on fire outside a local inn and continued along a street, choosing random targets.

Three fires were started under one dwelling, but O'Brien say firefighters put them out before they could cause significant damage.

He say that the man also entered a local business and threatened workers with a knife.

O'Brien says officers arrested the man and are now recommending about a dozen charges related to arson, uttering threats, weapons and mischief.

He says police will be also recommending a psychiatric evaluation for the man who's expected to appear in Nanaimo provincial court on Friday.