Native centre has home; fire cause unknown

Destruction from the fire at the building that housed Red Deer Native Friendship Society has made it difficult to determine whether it was caused by cigarette disposal in a planter, a barbecue or electrical wiring.

Destruction from the fire at the building that housed Red Deer Native Friendship Society has made it difficult to determine whether it was caused by cigarette disposal in a planter, a barbecue or electrical wiring.

“We know where it started. It’s just that there are a couple of possibilities that make it hard to make an absolute ruling,” fire prevention officer Tim Kivell said on Friday.

“It may not ever be determined.”

He said the barbecue was used prior to the fire. The gas tank was open, but the valve burners were turned off. Electrical upgrades were done in the building within the past year. Butting out cigarettes in potting material, which is combustible, is also a common cause of fire.

The fire at 4712 51st Ave. broke out early in the morning on May 28. It started on the second floor exterior patio beside apartments on the west end of the building. The friendship centre and Street Ties Youth Outreach were located on the first floor.

“It’s accidental in nature. There’s no reason for us to believe it was intentionally set,” Kivell said.

The fire caused an estimated $350,000 in damage due to extensive smoke, water and fire.

On Tuesday, Red Deer Native Friendship Society will be moving into its new location at 5405 50th Ave., above Cash Canada, where they expect to be for the next year.

Outreach worker Mel Sawyerr said the response from the community has been awesome.

“We weren’t aware we were as well known as we seem to be, and in a good way,” Sawyerr said.

About $5,000 in donations have come in, along with office furniture and supplies.

“We’d just like to send a big thank you out to the community for helping us in our time of need. We’ll continue to give back to the community.”

Aboriginal Employment and the friendship society will hold a summer kickoff fundraiser on Tuesday, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Festival Hall. Entertainers include traditional dancer Dallas Arcand and Metis hypnotist Scott Ward. Tickets will be sold at a stand at Parkland Mall today from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Tickets are $15 each for society members, $15 each for non-members, $10 for children six to 12. Children under six get in free.

For more information, call Aboriginal Employment at 403-358-7734 or the friendship society at 403-340-0020.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Ad firm says controversial billboards promoting Bernier’s party staying up

OTTAWA — The owner of billboards currently showcasing ads that seek to… Continue reading

14 year old and family need community support after teen hit by car

A 14 year old and his family need financial help after the… Continue reading

Police say someone fired paintballs at people outside drug consumption site in Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Police in southern Alberta are investigating after they say… Continue reading

Is federal carbon tax killing jobs? Experts say answer isn’t ‘black and white’

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government says the federal carbon tax is killing… Continue reading

New book assesses Trudeau government’s record of living up to pledges

OTTAWA — A new book arriving on the eve of the federal… Continue reading

WATCH: Snakes, lizards and more at the Western Canadian Reptile Expo in Red Deer

The 10th annual Western Canadian Reptile Expo is this weekend in Red… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Tuesday and Sept. 3 The Tony Connelly Singers provide an opportunity to… Continue reading

A look at policy areas scrutinized by a new book on the Trudeau government

OTTAWA — A group of two dozen Canadian academics took a deep… Continue reading

Father of suspected B.C. killer seeks access to video taken before son’s death

VANCOUVER — The father of a suspected killer of three people in… Continue reading

US tech industry becomes hotbed for employee activism

SAN FRANCISCO — When Liz O’Sullivan was hired at the New York… Continue reading

Jolie shares pride in son Maddox, joining Marvel movie

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Angelina Jolie says she’s “so proud” that her 18-year-old… Continue reading

Extinction bites: countries agree to protect sharks and rays

GENEVA — Countries have agreed to protect more than a dozen shark… Continue reading

Trudeau and Trump hold face to face meeting on sidelines of G7 summit

BIARRITZ, France — Justin Trudeau met face-to-face with U.S. President Donald Trump… Continue reading

Study reveals new details of overseas Cold War intelligence effort by Canadians

OTTAWA — Canada enlisted citizens who travelled to Communist countries during the… Continue reading

Most Read