Victoria Police have released images of Mike Draeger, the caretaker of the Plaza Hotel, who remains unaccounted for after the major fire that gutted the building.
Investigators obtained surveillance footage of a man who was confirmed to be Draeger, and have released screenshots from this footage.
- Plaza hotel caretaker Mike Draeger remains missing 5 days after downtown fire
- Tattoo artist hosts fundraiser for Cherry Bomb Toys after fire in downtown Victoria
These images were taken prior to the fire, so investigators believe they accurately represent what Draeger looks like:
Police and firefighters are still searching for Mike Draeger 8 days after the downtown Victoria Plaza Hotel went up in flames on Monday, May 6th.
Authorities have been unable to determine whether or not Draeger was inside the building when the fire broke out.
“He was a pretty private person”
According to Draeger’s former coworker Wayne Kalnciems, the caretaker was approximately 60 years old, weighed between 180 and 200 lbs, 6 feet tall, and had short grey hair.
His wardrobe also mainly consisted of jeans, t-shirts, and runners.
“He pretty much kept to himself a lot of the time. I wouldn’t say he didn’t have any friends but he was a pretty private person,” Kalnciems told Victoria Buzz.
Mike Draeger was a maintenance worker/handyman at the century old establishment, and once the bar shut down in 2013, he assumed the role of caretaker.
A trailer that reportedly belonged to him was located behind the building, and a van was parked out front, but there were no signs of anyone being in those vehicles.
Firefighters have also checked every room they could enter inside the unstable structure but have found no signs of Draeger.
A crowd of onlookers observe as @VictoriaFire730 crews battle major fire at the old Plaza Hotel on Goverment and Pandora. The fire broke out at approximately 5am this morning and the @CityOfVictoria has since issued an air quality warning due to smoke #yyj #yyjnews pic.twitter.com/pMusulHk8q
— Brishti Basu (@brish_ti) May 6, 2019
As of Tuesday, May 14th, the fire has officially been deemed suspicious and authorities were granted a search warrant to examine the property more closely.
Police are expected to remain on scene for the next few weeks. The origin of the fire is still undetermined.