Station 5 Bonnyville got a call around 3:30 June 1st to 4801-66st (Duclos Arms) in Bonnyville about a fire.
Crews say the fire was well advanced when they arrived on the scene. Station 7 Fort Kent and Station 8 Ardmore responded an hour later to support firefighting operations.
Dan Heney Regional Fire Chief says the fight went on for a long time before crews were able to get it under control.
The blaze was considered controlled around 10:30 but some of the wall structures needed to be taken apart to finish extinguishing the blaze. Crews proceeded to de-water the basement and finished up the investigation. The building has been completely lost.
Heney says he can not say if anyone was inside the building but Heney does say witness accounts heard people.
“Witnesses suggested they heard voices this morning and when one person went out and yelled fire they heard people running away. We know people were there.”
Heney also says the fire was not caused by natural causes as the building has been shut down for about a year. The fire has been labeled as suspicious.