Community devastated after ‘suspicious’ fire burns down Shell Lake, Sask. curling rink

The Shell Lake curling rink burned down Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, after a fire. The cause is still under investigation. Karen Burback / Supplied

People in the Village of Shell Lake, Sask., say they’re devastated after their curling rink burned down this weekend.

One witness said the fire started late Saturday afternoon, and by that night it had burned to the ground. In a text to Global News, fire chief Greg Ardagh said the fire was contained around 10:30 p.m. with the help of three farmers.

“There are no hydrants in town,” Ardagh explained, adding the farmers helped supply water to put out the blaze.

“The inside was engulfed in fire due to metal on (the) outside of buildings.”

RCMP said the fire is considered suspicious.

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Karen Burback’s trailer is nearby. She said the loss is hitting the community hard.

“They’re devastated. They have nothing to do in the winter otherwise, and it’s a community with a lot of older people in it,” she said.

“I think it meant everything to the community and the loss of something like that is big.”

The rink was built around 1975, according to the fire department.

Mayor Anita Weiers said the curling rink was enjoyed by everyone, especially older residents on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the winter when they would go curling then get coffee.

“You can’t go down the street without people commenting about how upsetting it is,” she said.

Shellbrook RCMP and the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency are assisting a fire investigator as the investigation into the cause of the blaze continues.

The damage estimate is unknown.

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