Police investigating suspicious fire at abandoned community centre in Kensington

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Calgary fire crews responded to a fire that burned through a vacant building in Kensington around 12:45 am Sunday morning. (David Bell/CBC - image credit)
Calgary fire crews responded to a fire that burned through a vacant building in Kensington around 12:45 am Sunday morning. (David Bell/CBC - image credit)

The Calgary fire and police departments are investigating a suspicious fire that burned through an abandoned building in Kensington early Sunday morning.

The Calgary Fire Department (CFD) responded to reports of a structure fire in the 1100 block of Gladstone Road N.W. around 12:45 a.m. Sunday morning. A second alarm was immediately called to make sure enough resources were on scene, according to a CFD news release.

Fire crews faced "significant smoke and visible flame" from inside the three-storey cinder-block building.

"Firefighters quickly initiated an exterior defensive attack. Two water towers were also set up to assist in fire attack," the release said.

The fire and damage was limited to one building. CFD believes the building was an old community centre that has been vacant for several years, according to Battalion Chief Alistair Robin.

Robin said the building will not be torn down yet as it has historical significance. The City of Calgary's safety response unit will bring in a structural engineer to see if the building is safe and can stand.

The cause of the fire, which has been deemed suspicious, is still under investigation by CFD and the Calgary police arson unit.

Robin said fire crews will remain on scene throughout the day to make sure there's no rekindling.