Edmonton

Fort McMurray food bank will dump about $200K worth of food after 'suspicious' fire

Fort McMurray food bank will throw away tons of food after warehouse sustained smoke damage during a weekend fire.

Volunteers need over the weekend to help with the cleanup

The outside of the Wood Buffalo Food Bank warehouse, where firefighters responded to a 'suspicious' fire late Sunday. (David Thurton/ CBC News)

The Wood Buffalo food bank says it will have to dump nearly $200,000 worth of stock after a "suspicious" fire Sunday at its warehouse in downtown Fort McMurray.

Arianna Johnson, executive director of the Wood Buffalo Food Bank, opens one of the two bays of its warehouse that sustained smoke damage after a Sunday fire. (David Thurton/ CBC News)

"It's a heartbreaking event for us," said Arianna Johnson, executive director of the food bank. "It's hard for us, because we spend so much raising money." 

It's the second time the food bank has had to throw away food in recent months. When it reopened in June after massive wildfires, Alberta Health Services mandated that the food bank throw away anything that wasn't in a can.

On Sunday, firefighters responded to a fire at the food bank's warehouse, at 8116 Manning Avenue. No one was injured, Wood Buffalo's Regional Emergency Services said in an email.

The fire department has turned over the investigation to the RCMP, and police are calling the fire "suspicious."

The Wood Buffalo Food Bank estimates it lost up to $200,000 worth of food to smoke damage. (David Thurton/ CBC News)

Inside the warehouse, a thin layer of soot covers boxes, cans of food and toiletries.

The food bank said it has enough stock at its main location, not far from the damaged warehouse, to meet demand. It also said the damaged food is covered by insurance.

But it has a call out for volunteers this weekend to help with cleanup.

now