UPDATE: RCMP now say they believe the fire at the Aluminum City Motel lot from April 2 was deliberately set. Tips can be called in to the detachment at 250-632-7111 or call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
At just after 11 p.m. on April 2 fire crews were called to a fire at the closed Aluminum City Motel on Dadook Avenue.
Fire crews found a cabin unit of the former motel full engulfed in flames, and it took two hours for Kitimat fire crews to have the fire put out.
Thankfully there were not reported injuries, said deputy Fire Chief Pete Bizarro.
“It’s been abandoned for a number of years and [there was] nobody in or around the structure,” he said.
The Kitimat RCMP has taken over the investigation of the fire, and at this early stage are saying it is suspicious, according to corporal Darryl Peppler of the Kitimat detachment.
The Forensic Identification Unit of the RCMP will arrive shortly to assist in the investigation.
Although deemed suspicious, Peppler said they have no indication yet on whether the fire could have been accidental or arson.
“It’s suspicious, but was it accidental, was it arson? We’re still figuring that out.”
RCMP do make regular patrols to the abandoned units. They have occasional reports of people on the property but little actual contact with whoever may be up there.
But people are very likely making use of the property, he said.
“It is believed that people will go up there, squat, hang out, drink. There’s evidence of some drug use,” he said.
Many rooms however remain intact from the day the motel closed. Peppler said in his own patrols through the property he’s found rooms with a fully made bed, seemingly untouched since the facility closed.
The motel property is currently listed through Kitimat’s Re/Max for $1.3 million.