At least eight people lost their home after a fire broke out in a rooming house in Portage la Prairie early Tuesday morning, causing extensive damage.
Just after 3 a.m., Portage la Prairie firefighters were called to the house on 3rd Street NW and Lorne Avenue.
RCMP arrived shortly after and found the house completely engulfed in flames, a news release says.
Everyone got out of the house before crews arrived, police said.
Fire chief Phil Carpenter says there were at least eight people staying in the rooming house at the time of the fire, but it could have been home to more.
He says it’s beyond repair.
“The damage is severe and extensive,” added Tara Seel, an RCMP spokesperson, adding that it took more than three hours to put out the fire.
Carpenter says the Red Cross was called to provide temporary supports to the people affected by the fire.
Investigators believe the fire started on the porch of the building, where people had previously seen garbage piled up.
The fire is being treated as suspicious at this time, but RCMP wouldn’t say why.
Mounties are investigating with the Office of the Fire Commissioner.
Anyone with information that could help investigators is asked to call Portage RCMP at 204-857-4445, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or leave a secure tip online.
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