Ingonish Beach facility destroyed in rash of weekend fires

·2 min read

Police are investigating after a canteen burned down in a string of weekend fires in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Chief Ervin Barron of the Ingonish Beach Volunteer Fire Department said they were called to Ingonish Beach just before 7 a.m. Saturday.

When they arrived alongside the Ingonish Volunteer Fire Department, the washroom facility that also housed a canteen was fully engulfed in flames, and the roof had already burned off.

"There was no saving the building, it was just kind of protecting the woods," Barron said Sunday.

RCMP said Sunday they were investigating at least one fire and would release more details soon.

Barron said they focused on keeping water on the blaze, and three large propane tanks on the side of the building to prevent them from exploding.

Although Barron said he's not an investigator, the fire appears to have been suspicious. It started in the women's washroom area, he said, which is separate from any electrical or cooking devices in the canteen.

Later that day, Barron said he then heard about two more fires that appeared in park washroom facilities north of Ingonish along the Cabot Trail in Black Brook and Broad Cove.

Brittany Wentzell/CBC
Brittany Wentzell/CBC

While both Ingonish and Black Brook washrooms are in more open areas along the road, Barron said there's a Broad Cove washroom near Warren Lake that's in deeper forest and any fire set there could have gotten out of control.

"It seems to me somebody was on the Trail going around and may be bored, I don't know. I don't know. It's terrible though. I seriously hope they find whoever did it," Barron said.

Barron did not see or respond to either of those scenes and could not say how much the facilities were damaged.

When asked how often he's seen multiple suspicious fires in the same day in his area, Barron said "never."