‘A lot of memories’ tied to community hall destroyed by fire in western Manitoba, chief says

A fire engulfed the community hall in the community of Easterville early Thursday morning, destroying the building, Manitoba RCMP say.

Officers were called to the community — about 400 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, on the shore of Cedar Lake in western Manitoba — around 4:15 a.m., where they found the community hall on Bourassa Street fully engulfed in flames.

The local fire department worked to put the blaze out, Mounties said in a Friday news release. There was no one inside the hall at the time of the fire.

The community hall was regularly used by members of neighbouring Chemawawin Cree Nation, said Chief Clarence Easter.

Its destruction is a loss for the community, which has shared the hall with the town of Easterville for the last 58 years, he said.

“There’s a lot of memories that go in there — happy events, sad events, all kinds of events went through there,” he told CBC News Saturday.

The cause is unknown, but RCMP are investigating with the Office of the Fire Commissioner.

Anyone with information is asked to call Chemawawin RCMP at 204-329-2000 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or leave a secure tip online.

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