Fires; real ones and imaginary ones

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The old sawmill yard in Smith caught fire at about 1:00 a.m. on May 23. RCMP consider it “suspicious,” but were not going as far as using the word ‘arson.’ Fire chief Jamie Coutts says firefighters spent a good part of the night working on the blaze, which they kept from getting into the surrounding bush. The fuel consisted of logs and sawdust.

Police were alerted by a CN employee.

Meanwhile, police are investigating two fires in Slave Lake on the evening of May 23. Both were put out quickly by the fire department and both are considered ‘suspicious.’

According to RCMP Staff Sgt. John Spaans, the first was reported at 9:40 p.m. and amounted to a single tree burning in the bush behind Northern Lakes College. Then at 10:50 p.m. came a report of a fire in a shed and woodpile in the southwest part of town.

A third report of a fire that night turned out to be a false alarm. Somebody had seen dust stirred up by a sweeper near the Sawridge Plaza Mall and thought it was smoke.

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