GRGCC clubhouse burns to ground in suspicious fire

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Monday, November 19 2012

Members of the Gabriola Rod, Gun and Conservation Club look at what remains of their clubhouse after a suspicious fire burned it to the ground late last week. Derek Kilbourn photo

Members of the Gabriola Rod, Gun and Conservation Club were stunned to get a phone call from a member just after noon on Saturday that their club house on Tait Road had burned to the ground.
Club Director Paul Metcalfe said there had been no members to anyone’s knowledge at the club on the Friday.
 Members were at the club on Thursday afternoon preparing the clubhouse for the resumption of the youth program, which was scheduled to start with a meeting on Sunday, November 18.
Fire Chief Rick Jackson was on scene by 2 pm with Fire Lieutenant Dimitri Tzotzos inspecting the scene.
Rick and Dimitri said there had been no 911 page-out for the Fire Department to the club.
The fire, according to the officials present, could have happened anytime after the club members left on Thursday and late Friday night.
Damage was limited to the clubhouse, with little damage done outside of a 10 ft scorching of the grass outside of the clubhouse itself.
Jackson said he did not want to say the cause of the fire was arson, but he did say the fire was suspicious.
He will be putting a request in to the Fire Commissioner’s office for an investigation, which he said was likely to happen as arson is suspected.
RCMP Cpl. Trevor MacKay was the investigating officer on the file.
MacKay said he too would be requesting the Fire Commissioner’s office do an inspection on site for arson as the cause of the fire was suspicious in nature.
Anyone with information is requested to context MacKay at 250-247-8333 or call nanaimocrimestoppers.com at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
A link to the anonymous online tip line is here.

Firefighters and RCMP inspect the site. Derek Kilbourn photo

Above and below: The clubhouse as it looked prior to the fire. Submitted photos