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RCMP investigating ‘suspicious’ Lewis Motel fire in O'Leary

O'Leary Fire Department members were assisted by the West Point and Alberton Fire Departments early Sunday morning to put out a blaze that consumed the former Lewis Motel.
O'Leary Fire Department members were assisted by the West Point and Alberton Fire Departments early Sunday morning to put out a blaze that consumed the former Lewis Motel. - Eric McCarthy

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

Corporal 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 calls 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 O’Leary fire chief Ronnie Phillips.

“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 former motel.

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

“With the three departments there was probably about 30 firefighters at the scene. They were a big help in extinguishing the blaze.”

Phillips says the fire was under control within 45 minutes of their arrival, but the fire’s hot spots took time to insure they 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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