Nova Scotia

Arson suspected after lobster pound fire in Digby County

A fire on Christmas Day destroyed a lobster pound owned by Sipekne’katik band councillor Alex McDonald.

It's not clear if any lobster were destroyed

A fire on Christmas Day destroyed a lobster pound in St. Bernard, N.S. (Preston Mulligan/CBC)

RCMP are investigating arson after a fire levelled a lobster pound fire in Digby County.

The fire broke out on Christmas Day at a lobster pound owned by Sipekne'katik band councillor Alex McDonald on Little Paradise Road in St. Bernard, N.S.

The blaze was reported at 4:45 a.m., and RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said it "is being investigated as suspicious in nature."

It's not clear if any lobster were destroyed as a result of the fire.

About 60 firefighters from neighbouring departments responded and returned to the scene several times to extinguish stubborn hot spots, according to St. Bernard volunteer fire Chief Daniel Gaudet.

Police are investigating the fire, which was reported at 4:45 a.m. on Monday, as 'suspicious in nature.' (Preston Mulligan/CBC)

Security was assigned to the scene after the fire first broke out early Monday, said Gaudet, and firefighters were called back around 3:30 p.m. after wind speeds picked up, finding the remainder of the building engulfed in flame. 

Deputy fire marshal Ron Thibeau told CBC News his office was initially planning to examine the fire site on Boxing Day. But after the second fire, the pound was a total loss. "There's nothing to look at," he said.

Police say their investigation is ongoing.

This is the second time McDonald has seen his lobster business damaged by fire.

In October, someone towed McDonald's lobster boat, Buck and Doe, from the wharf in Comeauville and set it on fire in St. Mary's Bay.

At the time, McDonald said he was targeted because he is Indigenous and exercising his Mi'kmaq treaty right to take part in a food fishery. McDonald declined to speak to CBC News about the latest fire.