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‘It was violating’: Skidegate fire department called to St. Patrick’s Day cemetery blaze

Queen Charlotte RCMP fire investigator says there was no evidence of arson
The Skidegate Volunteer Fire Department was called to a fire on the afternoon of March 17, 2020 at the cemetery on Front Street in Skidegate. (Skidegate Volunteer Fire Department photo)

The Skidegate Volunteer Fire Department was called to a fire on Saint Patrick’s Day at the Front Street cemetery.

Department safety officer Carrie Marshall told the Observer the “whole back road” of the cemetery was ablaze when the crew arrived at the scene on March 17 around 2:30 p.m., quickly splitting into two teams of two to put it out.

“They watered it for about an hour,” Marshall said, adding that dry ground caused the fire to keep “flaring up.”

She said the fire burned “all along the back fence line, into some graves along the fence.”

“That was a hard one for us as a fire team,” she said. “It was pretty devastating for the village to know that their loved ones had been violated in that way.”

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Marshall added that the fire seemed “strange,” however, Sgt. Greg Willcocks of the Queen Charlotte RCMP told the Observer it was not determined to be suspicious.

Willcocks, who is a fire investigator with the RCMP, said the investigation into the fire is now closed and there were no suspects or charges laid.

“There was no evidence to suggest it was arson,” he said.

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