‘It’s just sad’: Elsipogtog youth center destroyed in suspicious fire – New Brunswick

Members of the Elsipogtog First Nation community are reeling from the destruction of its youth center amid suspicion Thursday morning fire.

In a statement to Global News, Elsipogtog leader Arren Sock said the center has been “an integral part of our community for over 20 years”.

“Our thoughts are with our young people, our youth support staff and our community as a whole,” Sock said, adding that there were no injuries.

He said the council was in discussion with youth support staff to determine what steps should be taken to ensure youth services can continue in the short term.

The Elsipogtog Youth Center was destroyed in a fire on Thursday morning.

Suzanne Lapointe/World News

Elsipogtog junior firefighter Rowen Milliea, who attended the youth centre, responded to the blaze around 5am.

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“When I got here the roof had already collapsed, so I knew it was done as soon as I got here,” he said.

Milliea said he had fond memories of spending time at the center and was sad to see him go.

“In my opinion, it brought young people together and it shows how much this community cares about our children,” Milliea said.

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He said it was devastating to see another blaze at a popular community gathering spot, reminiscent of the 2020 fire that shuttered the local hockey arena for two years.

“It just makes me sad because this community has been through so much…it’s just sad.”

Milliea hopes the center will be rebuilt as soon as possible.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Hans Ouellette told Global News on Saturday that the investigation into the fire was ongoing and that they encouraged anyone with information to contact police.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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