Smoke continues to rise off the remains of a beloved community building that was destroyed in a fire in Leslieville, Alta. on Friday night.
The Elks Hall in the hamlet west of Red Deer went up in flames around 7 p.m. Friday. Officials have deemed the fire suspicious.
“We’ve opted not to add any more water to it just so we can preserve the evidence,” said Regional Fire Chief Steve Debienne.
“If we add the water to it right now, all we’re going to do is make a block of ice, and it would just hamper the investigation.”
The freezing temperatures also hampered the work of fire crews from Leslieville, Condor, Caroline and Rocky Mountain House.
“Minus forty three was a bit of a challenge,” Debienne said.
Leslieville doesn’t have a hydrant system, so all of the water used to douse the fire had to be brought into the area, he said. Surrounding roads were slick with ice formed from water that spilled from the trucks, and crucial equipment like fire hoses froze up.
The ears, fingers and toes of firefighters were also at risk of freezing, but Debienne said the community of 250 people helped keep them warm.
“The community of Lesleville has been fantastic, very supportive, ensuring our firefighters were warm, got something warm to drink, and something to eat,” he said.
Despite the challenges, crews got the fire under control around 9:30 p.m, Debienne said. The building collapsed and is unsalvageable.
A ‘devastating loss’
“This is a devastating loss to the Leslieville area,” Debienne said. “The Elks do a lot for the community, and seeing something like this go to the ground is definitely going to hurt the community and the Elks Club.”
The club, about 50 members strong, hosts events to raise money for Leslieville and the surrounding communities.
The leader of the Leslieville chapter said he’s been attending meetings in the building since he joined the club 15 years ago.
“We’ve lost money obviously, but it’s memories basically from the last 60 years,” said Royce Koester.
“It’s a very old building, but it’s not the building that really mattered. It’s the memorabilia that was inside. There was lots of history and photos and elk mounts and all kinds of stuff.”
But Koester said the community will move on from the loss of the building.
“I’m feeling disheartened that it’s gone, that’s for sure, but our community is strong and we’ll rebuild and carry on,” he said.
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Edmonton Alberta News Headlines
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Edmonton /ˈɛdməntən/ (About this sound listen) is the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. Edmonton is on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, which is surrounded by Alberta’s central region. The city anchors the north end of what Statistics Canada defines as the “Calgary–Edmonton Corridor”.
The city had a population of 932,546 in 2016, making it Alberta’s second-largest city and Canada’s fifth-largest municipality. Also in 2016, Edmonton had a metropolitan population of 1,321,426, making it the sixth-largest census metropolitan area (CMA) in Canada. Edmonton is North America’s northernmost city that has a metropolitan population over one million. A resident of Edmonton is known as an Edmontonian.
Edmonton’s historic growth has been facilitated through the absorption of five adjacent urban municipalities (Strathcona, North Edmonton, West Edmonton, Beverly and Jasper Place) and a series of annexations ending in 1982.[ Known as the “Gateway to the North”, the city is a staging point for large-scale oil sands projects occurring in northern Alberta and large-scale diamond mining operations in the Northwest Territories.
Edmonton is a cultural, governmental and educational centre. It hosts a year-round slate of festivals, reflected in the nickname “Canada’s Festival City”. It is home to North America’s largest mall, West Edmonton Mall (the world’s largest mall from 1981 until 2004), and Fort Edmonton Park, Canada’s largest living history museum.
Further information: History of Edmonton and Timeline of Edmonton history
The earliest known inhabitants settled in the area that is now Edmonton around 3,000 BC and perhaps as early as 12,000 BC, when an ice-free corridor opened as the last glacial period ended and timber, water, and wildlife became available in the region.
In 1754, Anthony Henday, an explorer for the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), may have been the first European to enter the Edmonton area. His expeditions across the Canadian Prairies were mainly to seek contact with the aboriginal population for establishing the fur trade, as competition was fierce between the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company. By 1795, Fort Edmonton was established on the river’s north bank as a major trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company. The new fort’s name was suggested by John Peter Pruden after Edmonton, London, the home town of both the HBC deputy governor Sir James Winter Lake, and Pruden.
In 1876, Treaty 6, which includes what is now Edmonton, was signed between the Aboriginal peoples in Canada (or First Nations) and Queen Victoria as Queen of Canada, as part of the Numbered Treaties of Canada. The agreement includes the Plains and Woods Cree, Assiniboine, and other band governments of First Nations at Fort Carlton, Fort Pitt and Battle River. The area covered by the treaty represents most of the central area of the current provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta.
The coming of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) to southern Alberta in 1885 helped the Edmonton economy, and the 1891 building of the Calgary and Edmonton (C&E) Railway resulted in the emergence of a railway townsite (South Edmonton/Strathcona) on the river’s south side, across from Edmonton. The arrival of the CPR and the C&E Railway helped bring settlers and entrepreneurs from eastern Canada, Europe, U.S. and other parts of the world. The Edmonton area’s fertile soil and cheap land attracted settlers, further establishing Edmonton as a major regional commercial and agricultural centre. Some people participating in the Klondike Gold Rush passed through South Edmonton/Strathcona in 1897. Strathcona was North America’s northernmost railway point, but travel to the Klondike was still very difficult for the “Klondikers”, and a majority of them took a steamship north to the Yukon from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Jasper Avenue, ca. 1907
Incorporated as a town in 1892 with a population of 700 and then as a city in 1904 with a population of 8,350, Edmonton became the capital of Alberta when the province was formed a year later, on September 1, 1905. In November 1905, the Canadian Northern Railway (CNR) arrived in Edmonton, accelerating growth.
During the early 1900s, Edmonton’s rapid growth led to speculation in real estate. In 1912, Edmonton amalgamated with the City of Strathcona, south of the North Saskatchewan River; as a result, the city extended south of the North Saskatchewan River for the first time.
Just prior to World War I, the boom ended, and the city’s population declined from more than 72,000 in 1914 to less than 54,000 only two years later. Many impoverished families moved to subsistence farms outside the city, while others fled to greener pastures in other provinces. Recruitment to the Canadian army during the war also contributed to the drop in population. Afterwards, the city slowly recovered in population and economy during the 1920s and 1930s and took off again during and after World War II.
The Edmonton City Centre Airport opened in 1929, becoming Canada’s first licensed airfield.Originally named Blatchford Field in honour of former mayor Kenny Blatchford, pioneering aviators such as Wilfrid R. “Wop” May and Max Ward used Blatchford Field as a major base for distributing mail, food, and medicine to Northern Canada; hence Edmonton’s emergence as the “Gateway to the North”. World War II saw Edmonton become a major base for the construction of the Alaska Highway and the Northwest Staging Route.
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Originally posted 2017-12-30 17:05:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter