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RCMP investigating ‘suspicious’ Lewis Motel fire

RCMP and firefighters from the West Point, O’Leary and Alberton fire departments responded to a call about a blaze at the former Lewis Motel. The structure was engulfed by the time crews arrived on the scene Sunday.
RCMP and firefighters from the West Point, O’Leary and Alberton fire departments responded to a call about a blaze at the former Lewis Motel. The structure was engulfed by the time crews arrived on the scene Sunday. - Eric McCarthy

O’LEARY - West Prince RCMP officers are investigating the cause of a structural fire that occurred early Sunday morning.

Cpl. Lisa Jones says the investigation into the fire at the former Lewis Motel is open and ongoing.

“There was no electricity to the building. It is a suspicious fire and we believe it was intentionally set.”

Around 4:30 a.m. RCMP and the O’Leary Fire Department received phone call about the fire.

The structure had been vacant for a number of years and had its electricity and other systems shut off.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, the structure was fully engulfed, said Chief Ronnie Phillips of the O’Leary volunteer fire department.

“We are going on the assumption that the cause of the fire is suspicious. The building’s electricity was shut off so there was no electrical source that could have started it.”

He added, “From what we’re figuring, it seems the fire was lit from both ends of the structure.”

Phillips said the fire travelled along the roof and made its way to the individual rooms of the dilapidated motel.

Alberton and West Point fire departments also attended the scene to help control the fire.

“There was probably about 30 firefighters at the scene. They were a big help in extinguishing the blaze,” Phillips said.

The fire chief says the fire was under control within 45 minutes of the firefighters’ arrival, but they took time to insure hot spots would not flare up.

“It was a little after 7 a.m. when the fire was fully beat. After that, the boys were cleaning up.”

Anyone with information regarding the fire is encouraged to contact the West Prince RCMP detachment at 902-853-9300.

Millicent.mckay@journalpioneer.com

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