Woman facing charges
Arson charges are expected today following an RCMP investigation into a suspicious apartment building fire on a central Cape Breton First Nations reserve.
Five male residents, all of whom were safely evacuated from the burning structure, were displaced by the weekend blaze in Wagmatcook, located 16 km west of Baddeck.
The fire rendered the building uninhabitable.
On Tuesday, Cpl. Jennifer Clarke, Nova Scotia RCMP media relations officer, said investigators probing the blaze have deemed the fire to be of a suspicious nature. Clarke confirmed that arson charges are likely to be laid today against a 21-year-old woman, whose name has yet to be released.
Chief Anthony Pierro of the Wagmatcook fire department said members responded to an alarm call at around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
“We weren’t far away so we got there right away,” said Pierro, who added that the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department also attended the scene.
“But even before we got there, the community residents were there and they got everybody out safely, including one physically handicapped man, and all of my boys are all right, so nobody was hurt.”
According to Mary Elizabeth Googoo of the Wagmatcook band office, the men were all residents of what she called the “bachelors’ apartments.”
“They’ve all been temporarily relocated in the meantime — they can’t go back there, it will be demolished and they won’t be going back there until it is rebuilt for them,” she said, adding that people can help the displaced men with clothes, supplies or cash donations that can be dropped off at the band office.