McPherson co-op destroyed
Arson suspected in $1.2-million blaze
by Ian Elliot
FORT McPHERSON (Apr 17/98) - The Tetlit Co-op store in Fort McPherson burned to the ground early Monday morning and arson is suspected.
RCMP and the fire marshal's office have launched an investigation into the $1.2-million fire, which has already been labelled suspicious.
The Fort McPherson fire department was called after flames were sighted at the back of the building at about 2:30 a.m. that morning. By the time the fire department arrived, the building was fully engulfed and by 5 a.m. it was destroyed.
Besides the store, the co-op housed a restaurant, the community's FM radio station and cable television system.
The only part of the building that was not destroyed was the post office, which was housed in a trailer beside the co-op. Firefighters dragged the trailer away from the main building as the store burned.
It was the latest of a number of serious fires in the community in the past few years. The last big fire was in January, 1997, when the new Chief Julius school was burned by arsonists, an $8-million loss.