Police are still investigating a suspicious fire in Flat Bay that destroyed the community centre, leaving one local leader mystified as to why the building would be a target.
"It's kinda hard to comprehend that people would deliberately want to burn that building," Calvin White, a Mi'kmaq elder and advisor to the local band council, told CBC's On The Go.
"There is no motive for that. There's no ATM in that building. There's never any money left in that building. There's nothing in there that anybody would want to carry off that they could sell."
A community hub gone
Bay St. George RCMP were called to the fire just after 3 a.m. Monday.
White said the centre served as a gathering place for the community of 300 people, providing space for most local events from wakes to birthday parties to election polling stations.
"You name it and it does it. It was the hub of the Flat Bay-St. Teresa's area," he said.
White said the building was insured, and there's already an online fundraiser to help supplement reconstruction costs.
He hopes reconstruction can begin within a year.
Second recent suspicious fire
Police are still investigating what caused Monday's fire, but do believe it was suspicious in nature.
Last month, another suspicious fire in Flat Bay left a family homeless.
The house was left to burn because the community does not have a fire department, nor does the local service district have an agreement with nearby towns for emergency fire services.
"It's certainly needed, but it is something that might be a little bit more than we can place on people at this particular point in time, but we will certainly have to look at it," said White.