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Arson suspected in New Year’s Day fire that totalled five homes in Manitoba community

Five trailers were destroyed and a sixth damaged in a massive New Year’s Day fire in a northern Manitoba community.

Moose Lake RCMP say they were called to the residential fire on Sinclair Street at around 7:40 a.m.

Once on scene, officers checked that surrounding homes were evacuated.

The town’s mayor Fergus Campbell woke up to a phone call about the blaze.

He said the fire fight was delayed because the heaters in the community’s fire hall stopped working at some point prior to the fire without anyone knowing.

Crews then couldn’t get the fire truck started, and the water in the tank was frozen solid.

(Source: Manitoba RCMP)

By the time crews arrived from The Pas, the fires had burned themselves out.

The fire eventually destroyed five trailers and damaged a sixth.

“It was devastating for the community, not just the homeowners, but the homeowners got the most of it because they don’t have a home now,” Campbell said.

No injuries were reported.

Mounties said a cause has not been determined, but arson is suspected.

SUPPORT FOR DISPLACED RESIDENTS

Campbell estimated about 14 people are displaced because of the fire, including children.

“We’re just trying to rush around here, trying to help the people that were affected by it. We’re trying to get funding, donations for them.”

The Canadian Red Cross has also given support, including a hotel stay in The Pas.

Days later, the smell of burnt rubber still permeates the community, Campbell said.

An electrician is working to fix the heaters, but the damage is done.

“It’s devastating to see,” Campbell said.

“It’s just bare there today. Nothing is up there right now.”

An investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact RCMP or Crime Stoppers.

(Source: Manitoba RCMP)

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