Wetaskiwin RCMP are investigating after a fake bomb was found outside a building that burned down under suspicious circumstances.
Firefighters were called to the Mega Pawn shop on 36th Avenue just after 5:30 a.m. Sunday. When they arrived, the building was already in flames.
Soon after, emergency crews spotted what appeared to be an explosive device sitting in the roadway nearby.
Officers with the RCMP’s explosive disposal unit who examined the device determined the device was a hoax, likely deliberately set to distract emergency personnel.
Crews remained on scene battling the blaze until the late afternoon. Nobody was hurt, but the neighbouring building sustained smoke and fire damage.
The total cost of damage is not yet known.
The provincial fire investigator and Wetaskiwin RCMP say the fire was deliberately set, and are treating it as suspicious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police.