Fire severely damages Nanoose First Nation Community Hall

By Ian Holmes
August 19, 2017 - 6:27pm

Flames light up the early morning sky in Nanoose Bay as the Snaw-Naw-As Community Hall burns.Julia Bruce

Firefighters were able to prevent the Nanoose First Nation Community Hall from burning to the ground.Natasha Bob

 NANAIMO — A fire has badly damaged the Nanoose First Nation Community Hall.

Lantzville Volunteer Fire Department crews responded to the early Saturday morning blaze at the lower part of the Snaw-Naw-As reserve to find roughly half of the hall on fire, according to acting chief John Marment.

He told NanaimoNewsNOW the fire is suspicious.

"From what I got from witnesses, there was somebody playing behind the building where most of the damage is. They were playing with fireworks. Some individuals were seen running away." 

Marment said there were no injuries.

Pictures of the aftermath showed the hall's roof had collapsed in.

Marment said crews were able to save the basement from the active fire, which saw flames shooting high in the air.

“There's a lot of artifacts in there, we managed to save them.”

Marment said a neighbour reported seeing flames climbing the side of the building shortly after people were seen running away from the scene.

“There was combustible material against the building which set it alight and then the flames quickly spread up the side of the building and in the building.”

Marment said Nanaimo Fire Rescue will investigate. 

 

-with files from Spencer Sterritt & Kyle Ireland

 

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On Twitter: @reporterholmes

 

 

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