Grassy Narrows arena destroyed in fire

Fire destroyed the arena at the Grassy Narrows First Nation in northwestern Ontario on Saturday night, in what the community's chief calls a "terrible loss."
The arena in Grassy Narrows First Nation was destroyed by a fire Saturday night, according to the community's chief. (Supplied)

Fire destroyed the arena at the Grassy Narrows First Nation in northwestern Ontario on Saturday night, in what the community's chief calls a "terrible loss."

Chief Roger Fobister said he was in Dryden, Ont., when he got the call at about 2:30 a.m. CT on Sunday.

Grassy Narrows Chief Roger Fobister. (Facebook)
When he arrived in Grassy Narrows at about 8 a.m., the arena was "smouldering," with local firefighters and Treaty Three Police attending the scene.

Fobister said police are "quite sure no one was hurt" in the incident, and he expects the Ontario Fire Marshal to arrive in Grassy Narrows on Monday to investigate.

The arena was "well used" by young people and adults in the community, Fobister said.

"Our community is a hockey community, so this arena is a loss for us," he said.

There are no plans yet to replace the arena, which Fobister said was built in 1995.

"We'll be taking a look at our insurance package [to] see whether we could rebuild," he said.

Fobister said the covered, natural-ice arena was being outfitted to use artificial ice, but the community lacked the power capacity to complete the conversion.

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