North

Fort Smith New Year’s fire called suspicious

The N.W.T. fire marshal says the fire that burned down the Tourist Information Centre in Fort Smith on New Year's Day might have been deliberately set.

Building had been vacant since fall and appliances were not in use

Fire completely gutted a building in Conibear Park in Fort Smith, N.W.T. on New Year's Day. The fire marshal's office is now treating the fire as suspicious. (Laurie Young)

The N.W.T. fire marshal says the fire that burned down the Tourist Information Centre in Fort Smith on New Year's Day might have been deliberately set.  

Stephen Moss said the investigation is ongoing.

"Because of the general use of the building, it probably hadn't been accessed since September or October this year. Fire should not have occurred there. There were appliances and things like that in the building that were not being used, so the likelihood of an electrical fire or some other form of fire — like, there's no mechanical heat — is rather remote," said Moss.

The burned building, located in Conibear Park, was not in use as a visitor's centre, although it is still commonly referred to as that. The building was used every summer by the South Slave Friendship Festival committee.

The town's Visitor Information Centre is now located in the Parks Canada office on McDougal Road.

Moss said he'll know more once he gets more information from the firefighters who were first on the scene and after speaking to the operators of the building. 

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