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Fire at Gitwangak church investigated for links to southern church fires

A fire a church in Gitwangak has New Hazelton RCMP examining whether it is connected to recent fires that destroy four Catholic churches in southern B.C.

On Saturday, June 26, 2021 at 1:15 a.m., the New Hazelton RCMP received a call that there was a fire in the entranceway of an abandoned church on Church Road in Gitwangak. The New Hazelton Fire Department responded and quickly extinguished the flames. There were no reports of injuries.

The church sustained minimal damage, and remains completely intact. It is vacant and not used by the community.

“The RCMP are treating this fire as suspicious and are looking to determine what, if any, connection there may be to the recent church fires in the South Okanagan, within First Nation communities,” said S/Sgt Darren Durnin, NCO i/c New Hazelton RCMP.

The investigation is ongoing and police would like to speak with anyone who may have information regarding this fire.

The New Hazelton RCMP continues to work with and support our local Indigenous leaders and communities.

Police are asking for anyone who may have witnessed anyone in the area of the church in the early hours of June 26 to contact the New Hazelton RCMP Detachment at 250-842-5244.

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