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

City council opts to stick with RCMP

Motion to begin transitioning to a municipal police force defeated 6-3

Parks Canada says no to gondola proposed from Banff townsite to Mount Norquay

BANFF, Alta. — Parks Canada has rejected a proposed gondola to take… Continue reading

What was said about RCMP versus muncipal policing in Red Deer council chambers:

Some notable quotes from Tuesday’s policing discussions by Red Deer city council:… Continue reading

Prison watchdog decries ‘Indigenization’ of Canada’s correctional system

OTTAWA — The proportion of Indigenous people in federal custody has hit… Continue reading

McConnell backs off, abruptly eases impeachment trial limits

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate plunged into President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial… Continue reading

WATCH: Canadian kid shovelling snow video goes viral

Rory might just be Canada’s most popular toddler right now, thanks to… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

Parks Canada says no to gondola proposed from Banff townsite to Mount Norquay

BANFF, Alta. — Parks Canada has rejected a proposed gondola to take… Continue reading

Prison watchdog decries ‘Indigenization’ of Canada’s correctional system

OTTAWA — The proportion of Indigenous people in federal custody has hit… Continue reading

McConnell backs off, abruptly eases impeachment trial limits

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate plunged into President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial… Continue reading

Lineups form outside grocery stores in St. John’s, N.L., on 5th day of emergency

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Emptying kitchen cupboards were restocked in St. John’s,… Continue reading

Changes to Hall of Fame and a quick entry for Tiger Woods

SAN DIEGO — Tiger Woods won’t have to wait until he’s 50… Continue reading

Manitoba’s record-breaking snow maze captures winter’s whimsical charm

ST. ADOLPHE, Man. — It doesn’t take a master sleuth to figure… Continue reading

Most Read