According to officials, there was no utilities in the building that could have ignited the fire.
The fire broke out at a tiny, historic chapel in northern B.C. located east of Terrace on Highway 16 on the morning of April 22 and reportedly to have been ‘extensively’ damaged.
The Thornhill Fire Department were dispatched to the fire at 6:38 a.m. after receiving a 911 call.
The Thornhill Fire Department responded to the fire at 6:38 a.m. April 22 after receiving a 911 call. Upon arrival, the fire crew found a passerby had knocked down the fire with an extinguisher they had in their car. The back wall of the building was damaged, the roof damaged and a cross hanging on the wall was charred.
“Upon entering [the] building, it appeared that something had ignited the wooden cross on fire, causing some structural damage to the rear wall and the roof,” said Rick Boehm, emergency coordinator for the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine.
“The cause of the fire is still under investigation,” Boehm said. “But, we can report there are no utilities in this heritage building — therefore it is suspicious at this time.”
Usk Pioneer Chapel took to Facebook and posted on their page the fire had caused “extensive damage but looks to be reparable,” and called the fire a “malicious act of vandalism”.
“Due to its location, fire insurance was not available,” the post read.
“As of now, the cause of the fire is undetermined due to the lack of evidence,” said Boehm.
The Chapel is open and available to the public as they have have maintained an open door policy and has been host to many weddings and piles of guest books with names of visitors from around the world.
The Terrace Christian Reformed Church has set up a donation page to aid the chapel management with repairs.