The Hay River Youth Centre suffered damages early Saturday morning after a fire , believed to be arson, was started.
According to Fire Chief Ross Potter, the Department received the call at 12:35 a.m. Saturday morning, and arrived on scene to see the Youth Centre on fire.
“There was fire on the back wall and underneath the building,” said Potter.
He said that it was only a matter of minutes before the fire was under control, but the fire is considered suspicious and is under investigation.
“It definitely was arson,” he said.
Potter believes that there is a link between Saturday’s blaze, and the two previous fires believed to be arson – the front-end loader at Diamond Jenness Seondary School on Friday and the Browntown apartment complex.
The primary damage estimate came in at $15,000.
The RCMP could not be reached for comment by press time.
Hay River RCMP are investigating after a front-end loader was allegedly torched outside of Diamond Jenness Secondary School sometime in the early morning hours Friday.
Const. Scott Thomas said officers were called to the scene by Hay River Fire Chief Ross Potter at approximately 8 a.m. after workers returning to the school to continue renovations noticed the smoldering vehicle adjacent to the trade centre. The loader, a Volvo 150C owned by Taylor and Company, suffered “thousands of dollars” in damage in the fire, according to the RCMP. The blaze is believed to have been set sometime between 6 p.m. on Thursday and 6 a.m. on Friday.
Potter said the fire destroyed the cab of the loader, reducing it to a burnt out shell.
“It’s looking like suspected arson,” he said. “It’s still under investigation.”
Taylor and Company president Andy Taylor called the act “malicious,” and said it will probably result in the complete loss of the loader, which was purchased used for $50,000. Taylor spent the morning speaking to Volvo representatives and said the cost to replace the cab alone would be $30,000. He said the incident couldn’t have come at a worse time for the company, which is working on the DJSS renovations.
“It’s a real detriment to the company and the community of Hay River as far as I’m concerned,” Taylor told The Hub on Friday afternoon.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hay River RCMP at 874-1111 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS