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Northeastern Alberta church lost in case of suspected arson

By Mark Strashok and Lauryn Heintz

A fire destroyed a church in northeastern Alberta, and RCMP are calling it arson.

Just before 4 a.m., fire crews and police were called to the hamlet of Cherry Grove, which is just east of Cold Lake, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was fully engulfed.

The Municipal District of Bonnyville says while mounties were at the scene, they came across a second fire at the Cherry Grove Canada Post Office.

RCMP put out the smaller fire before it could do significant damage.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cherry Grove, Alta., east of Cold Lake, was burned to the ground in a case of suspected arson in the early morning hours of Friday, April 28, 2023. (Courtesy of Photo courtesy of Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cherry Grove, Alta., east of Cold Lake, was burned to the ground in a case of suspected arson in the early morning hours of Friday, April 28, 2023. (Courtesy of Photo courtesy of Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority).

Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority Regional Fire Chief Dan Heney says both fires are suspicious in nature.

“It’s a complete loss,” he said of the church.

Police are asking anyone with video footage of the fire or that area early this morning to contact them or the regional fire authority at 780-826-4755.

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