The Dec. 29 fire in Leslieville destroyed the community’s Elk’s Hall. The investigation into the fire has determined the cause was arson. A suspect has been identified, though RCMP are still investigating. Photo submitted.

Leslieville fire deemed arson, suspect identified

The Dec. 29 fire destroyed Leslieville’s Elk’s Hall

The fire that destroyed Leslieville’s Elk’s Hall on Dec. 29 has been deemed arson by Rocky Mountain House RCMP.

While RCMP are still investigating the incident, a person of interest has been identified by RCMP.

“At this point, a person of interest has been identified and RCMP can confirm that this investigation is progressing,” a news release released by RCMP on Jan. 3 said.

The chief of Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services determined the cause of the fire was arson after examining the scene of the fire on Jan. 2.

The hamlet’s Elk’s Hall went up in flames around 7 p.m. on Dec. 29. The fire was originally deemed as suspicious before further investigations began.

Fire crews from Leslieville, Condor, Caroline and Rocky Mountain House battled the blaze in subzero temperatures. At the time of the fire, temperatures reached around -42C.

Though roughly 33 crew members were on the scene, firefighters were unable to save the hall and it was consumed by fire.

The structure has been standing in Leslieville for about 70 years, and is considered to be a great loss for the community.

The fire is said to have started in the back of the building, though Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services is currently unable to say how it started.

The Elks, which consists of 50 members in the community, is currently looking into their options moving forward.

Rocky Mountain House RCMP are looking for any possible witnesses to the fire.

Anyone with information about the fire that destroyed the hall is asked to contact the Rocky Mountain House RCMP.

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