Fire at Shubenacadie ballfield canteen/stage deemed suspicious

SHUBENACADIE: A fire extensively damaged the canteen/band stage at the ballfield in Shubenacadie enough that it will have to be demolished.

Firefighters from Shubenacadie fire; Milford Fire; Indian Brook fire; and Lantz fire responded to the call for a structure fire shortly after 9 pm on Oct. 4.

In an interview on Oct. 5,  Alana Tapper – Director of Parks Recreation & Culture with the Municipality of East Hants, said the estimated cost of the damage was unknown at this time.

“Due to the extensive damage, the entire structure will be taken down,” said Tapper.

What’s left of the canteen/band stage at the ballfield in Shubenacadie. (Healey photo)

The canteen/washroom building, and property are municipally owned and maintained.

Sgt. Martin Roy, with East Hants RCMP, confirmed police responded to the call. He said the investigation is ongoing in the fire at the Shubenacadie Park.

“Several people were spoken to about the fire,” said Sgt. Roy, adding no new information was obtained.

He said according to the fire marshal, the fire was a possible arson.

The demolition of the building will impact on community groups in Shubenacadie that utilized it.

“This will impact multiple community groups as the structure provided washroom facilities, a community stage, a canteen space for events, storage for sport equipment and it housed the electrical for the ballfield lights,” said Tapper. “The ballfield will remain closed due to the proximity to the structure.

She said the demolition of the structure will be priority.

“Future plans have not yet been determined,” said Tapper.

Tapper was asked if the fire gives MEH concern as they prepare to construct a new playground in the area of the canteen/stage, that something similar could happen to it.

The plans for the playground installation are still moving forward, she said.

“As with any public infrastructure, there is always a risk for vandalism,” said Tapper. “Our hope is that the playground and any other infrastructure on the site is not damaged as it impacts the entire community.”

Sgt. Roy said anyone with information regarding this fire are asked to contact the East Hants RCMP of Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.