Saint John police seek to ID 2 men in connection with Fort La Tour fire

·2 min read
The Saint John Police Force's major crime unit is asking for the public's help in identifying the two men in this photo in connection with the May 19 fire at the newly recreated Fort La Tour site. (Saint John Police Force - image credit)
The Saint John Police Force's major crime unit is asking for the public's help in identifying the two men in this photo in connection with the May 19 fire at the newly recreated Fort La Tour site. (Saint John Police Force - image credit)

Saint John police are seeking help identifying two men in connection with the suspicious fire at the Fort La Tour site last week.

The major crime unit released photographs of the men on Friday.

Anyone who can identify the men, or has information about the fire is asked to contact the Saint John Police Force at 648-3333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), said force spokesperson Jim Hennessy.

On May 19, around 2:30 a.m., emergency crews responded to the tourist site on the harbourfront to find the roof of one of the newly recreated buildings on fire.

One of the buildings closest to the water sustained heavy fire damage along one wall and a large portion of the roof, Beth Hatt, the chair of the Fort La Tour Development Authority told CBC News. An adjoining wooden gate was also essentially destroyed.

The site, decades in the making, hadn't even officially opened yet.

The Place Fort La Tour project was announced in June 2018. The $1.8-million project pays tribute one of the first settlements in Canada near the exact site where the original stood almost 400 years ago.

Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, governor of Acadia, built a fort at the site in 1631 that became one of the earliest centres of the French fur trade with the region's Indigenous peoples.

The settlement has become known for the bravery of his wife, Françoise-Marie Jacquelin, Madame de La Tour. In 1645, during her husband's absence, she and 40 soldiers held off a much larger force of rival governor Charles de Menou d'Aulnay for three days before he took the fort in the name of the king.

The fort was destroyed in the 17th or early 18th century, but the archeological site was designated a national historic site in 1923.

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