RCMP in Moncton are searching for a suspect responsible for setting the fire that destroyed the former House of Nazareth Shelter in Moncton.
On Tuesday, police and local firefighters responded to a report of a fire at the House Of Nazareth building on Clark Street. The shelter was vacant at the time and the building sustained significant damage and according to Division Chief, Charles LeBlanc, the fire was deliberately set.
RCMP says surveillance photos show an individual starting a fire inside the building and released images of the person on Friday. The suspect is described as being between five foot nine inches (175 centimetres) and six feet tall (183 centimetres) and having a skinny build.
Police say he was wearing a black baseball hat, black jacket, grey hooded sweatshirt, dark pants, boots and was carrying a black duffle bag and a backpack.
“It is pretty sad, why? You know why somebody would do that?” said the House of Nazareth’s executive director Jean Dube.
Dube says the building that acted as a shelter for more than 40 years is a total loss.
“They are going to be tearing this thing down. It is not safe” he said.
Dube said they had planned to turn the property into a transition house. The building was insured, but he said considering there will be a cost to tear it down cost will determine whether or not they will rebuild on this site.
“We will see what the price tag is on putting it back up and we’ll go from there,” said Dube
He says the organization has been through a lot financially during the construction of the new downtown shelter.
“75 Albert’s construction cost us a lot more than we anticipated but we are determined to do something.”
RCMP are asking for the public’s help to identify the man in the video.