Leslieville Elks Hall was destroyed by a ‘suspicious’ fire Friday night. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Red Deer Advocate

UPDATED: Leslieville Elks Hall destroyed by ‘suspicious’ fire

Days after the Elks Hall in Leslieville was destroyed by what officials believe was a suspicious fire Friday night, residents are still reeling from the community’s loss.

Leslieville Elks group leader, Royce Koester, said the “historical” building has been in the community for about 70 years, in the hamlet of about 250 people. The hall is one of the 250 lodges across Canada owned by the Elks.

“It’s a great loss for the town,” he said.

As for what happens now, Koester said, Elks members will meet after New Year’s.

“Everything is up in the air right now,” he said.

Claudette Arnold, a Leslieville resident, lived right across from the hall for the past 27 years. She said the building was first thing she saw every morning from her house.

“It’s so sad,” she said.

Thirty-three firefighters from four different fire stations were called to Elks Hall Leslieville, east of Rocky Mountain House, just after 7 p.m. on Friday.

Temperature dropped below -42 C Friday night, which complicated the firefighters’ efforts. Leslieville’s lack of hydrant system only made things worse for the firefighters.

“Everything was freezing on us,” said Steve Debienne, Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue chief.

“Fighting fires in those temperatures is extremely hard on firefighters and hard on the equipment,” said Debienne.

The investigation is still ongoing but Debienne said the fire department has reason to believe the fire was suspicious. More details will be released Tuesday.

The fires lasted for a couple of hours after a bystander had made the 911 call.

The hall was a staple to the “tight-knit” community, said Debienne.

No injuries were reported in the structure fire.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Leslieville Elks Hall was destroyed by a ‘suspicious’ fire Friday night. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Red Deer Advocate

Leslieville resident, Claudette Arnold, came out Sunday to take pictures of what was left of the former Leslieville Elks Hall that was destroyed by a ‘suspicious’ fire Friday night. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Leslieville resident, Claudette Arnold, came out Sunday to take pictures of what was left of the former Leslieville Elks Hall that was destroyed by a ‘suspicious’ fire Friday night. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Elks Hall in Leslieville was fully engulfed in flames Friday night. (Photo courtesy Scott Finkbeiner)

Elks Hall in Leslieville was fully engulfed in flames Friday night. (Photo courtesy Scott Finkbeiner)

Elks Hall in Leslieville was fully engulfed in flames Friday night. (Photo courtesy Scott Finkbeiner)

Just Posted

More choices now available for office locations in Red Deer

Depending on size, offices can locate in different city commercial zones

Painting of slain Red Deer doctor and his family is a reminder ‘we care’

Remembering the family of the late Dr. Walter Reynolds

COVID-19: More than 1 million Albertans have been tested to date

Roughly one in four Albertans have been tested

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

David Marsden: Molly Banister extension must be kept

‘It would be a mistake to take a sensible response to future residential development off the table’

Bubble hockey champs: Tampa Bay Lightning beat Dallas Stars 2-0, win Stanley Cup

Bubble hockey champs: Tampa Bay Lightning beat Dallas Stars 2-0, win Stanley Cup

Mahomes outplays Jackson to lead Chiefs past Ravens 34-20

Mahomes outplays Jackson to lead Chiefs past Ravens 34-20

The Finals are set: LeBron, Lakers will meet Butler, Heat

The Finals are set: LeBron, Lakers will meet Butler, Heat

Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez upsets No. 31 seed at French Open

Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez upsets No. 31 seed at French Open

Blue Jays to start Shoemaker in Game 1 against Rays, Ryu on tap in Game 2

Blue Jays to start Shoemaker in Game 1 against Rays, Ryu on tap in Game 2

Canadian men drawn with rival Americans in Group B at 2021 Gold Cup

Canadian men drawn with rival Americans in Group B at 2021 Gold Cup

Adesanya defends belt, Blachowicz wins title at UFC 253

Adesanya defends belt, Blachowicz wins title at UFC 253

Most Read