RCMP Cruiser Generic
(File photo)

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after an early morning fire caused extensive damage to a local community hall Thursday morning. 

Fire crews arrived at the Departure Bay Activity Centre, located at 1415 Wingrove street, shortly after 5:30 a.m. on March 17th.

Upon arrival, the structure was fully engulfed in flames. 

The gymnasium portion of the building specifically sustained significant fire damage. The adjacent parking bay which held the Salvation Army Emergency Food truck suffered smoke damage. 

After thoroughly examining the scene, investigators turned the investigation over to police after deeming the blaze as suspicious.

According to RCMP, the building was not occupied at the time. No damage to nearby buildings or injuries to individuals were reported. 

“You would be hard pressed to find anyone in the Nanaimo area who hasn’t attended an event or activity at this hall,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

“It’s a landmark building which has served the citizens of Nanaimo well for over 60 years.”

Anyone who may have seen a person or vehicle in the area of the blaze between 5 a.m. to 5:45 a.m. on Thursday, March 17th or anyone with security or dash cam video is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at (250) 754-2345.

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