Fire, explosion at downtown Fort McMurray restaurant was arson, RCMP say

A fire that caused an explosion at a burger restaurant in Fort McMurray was deliberately set, RCMP say.

Explosion powerful enough to damage neighbouring businesses, RCMP say

Police are investigating a suspected arson at South St. Burger in downtown Fort McMurray. (David Thurton/ CBC)

A fire that caused an explosion at a burger restaurant in Fort McMurray was deliberately set, RCMP say.

"We do believe this was intentionally caused and it is under investigation by all parties," said Cpl. Teri-Ann Deobald.

The fire at South St. Burger in downtown Fort McMurray started sometime before 4 a.m. Friday.

Deobald said no one was injured in the fire, but the neighbouring Dollar Store and Tommy Gun's Original Barbershop sustained water damage.

"Several businesses did sustain fire-related damage. Plus the water-sprinkler system was going off," Deobald said.

More than one person may have been involved.

"The police service dog attended the scene and did follow a track from the restaurant area of the plaza," Deobald said. "And it did stop and there was nobody at the end of the track which usually means a vehicle would have picked somebody up."

RCMP are asking anyone who has information or video surveillance footage in relation to the fire, such as people or vehicles in the area between 3 a.m. and 4:15 a.m., to come forward.