For the second time in under a month, a car dealership in a town west of Edmonton has caught on fire.
Fire crews from Edson and Yellowhead County were called in to battle a blaze at the Edson Honda dealership at around 5 a.m. Monday, according to the Town of Edson.
As of 7:30 a.m., there were three fire engines, one aerial unit and a rescue truck at the scene for a total of 22 firefighters, along with command vehicles, a support unit, emergency medical services and RCMP.
The town asked drivers to avoid the area around Edson Honda if possible and to stay in the north lane of 4 Avenue and slow down as crews were actively working in that area.
Drivers were also told to be careful on 2 Avenue, as water was creating icy conditions.
As of 8:30 a.m., the town said the fire was contained, but had not yet been put out.
This latest fire comes three weeks after the Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership was destroyed in the same town. The entire office and showroom area was destroyed, as well as about 60 per cent of the mechanical area.
“Twenty-four years and I’ve only done one other dealership fire — and we do two inside three weeks,” Edson deputy fire chief Tyler Robinson said. “The timing’s terrible, again the job losses are terrible. The assets, the values that they lost in here.
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“It’s a hit to the community again.”
On Monday afternoon, Edson RCMP said that although the cause of the fire remains under investigation, “the fire has not been linked at this time to the previous fires that occurred on Dec. 9, 2019 in Edson at a separate dealership and vehicle fire.”
In yet another update Monday afternoon, RCMP later confirmed that the Dec. 9 Chrysler dealership fire has since been deemed arson by fire investigators and that a vehicle fire the same day had been “intentionally set.”
Police said it was too early to say if Monday’s fire was suspicious.
Anyone that may have been in the area of the Edson Honda Dealership at around 4 a.m. on Monday and who may have seen anything suspicious is asked to contact Edson RCMP at 780-723-8822. Tips can also be anonymously submitted by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.
The extent of Monday’s fire is not yet known.
The mayor of Edson, who also works at a vehicle dealership, said “it’s really, really surprising to see this happen once again in our community.”
“At our dealership… we have a concern and we’re going to be looking at our security measures and ensuring everything is in place to prevent these types of things from occurring,” he added.
“We rely on these businesses to support our community.”
Edson is about 180 kilometres west of Edmonton.
— With files from Global News’ Phil Heidenreich