New Brunswick

'Suspicious' fire destroys former school in Marysville

A suspicious fire badly destroyed a former school in the Fredericton area overnight Sunday.

Fredericton-area building was almost 150 years old

The Fredericton Fire Department tweeted this picture of the Marysville fire.

A suspicious fire destroyed a former school in the Fredericton area overnight Sunday.

The fire at 357 Canada St., in the Marysville area, started around 3 a.m. Police described it as a "non-residential" building and it is next to the Marysville United Church.

No one was in the building.

The Fredericton Fire Department tweeted this picture of the Marysville fire aftermath.

Investigators are still on the scene. They called the cause of the fire "suspicious."

The fire department tweeted that the building was a former Scout hall.

"Originally the Marysville school, then Scout hall, then a framing shop, then a fabricating shop," @CityFredFire tweeted.

Marysville turning 150

Terry Arnold, co-chair of the Marysville Heritage Committee, said the loss of the church was especially devastating because the community is celebrating its 150th anniversary this summer.

Arnold said the building destroyed by fire was built two years after the community was founded.

"It was the Marysville School built by Alexander 'Boss' Gibson and opened in 1864. He built the school probably 20 years before he built the cotton mill," Arnold said.

The building was the site of classes for Marysville students for more than 60 years.

 "It operated as a school up until 1927, when the Alexander Gibson Memorial School opened," Arnold said.

It was later used as a Sunday school by the Baptist church and then as a Scouts hall. More recently, it was a commercial site housing a framing shop and fabrication outlet.

It was unoccupied for the last few years, although there were rumours it would re-open as a store.

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