BRITISH COLUMBIA

3 Teens Arrested In Bella Bella Fire Investigation

07/15/2013 07:30 EDT | Updated 09/14/2013 05:12 EDT
Police have arrested three teenage girls in connection to a fire that destroyed the only grocery store in a remote First Nation community on B.C.'s northwest coast.

RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk says the three girls, ages 13, 15 and 16, were arrested shortly after the fire broke out last Friday.

Investigators say they believe the fire at the band store in Bella Bella was deliberately set.

Moskaluk says a report has been forwarded to the Crown counsel to determine if there will be any charges.

He says the fire is still being investigated, and details about how it was set are not being released.

The blaze broke out early Friday morning, causing severe damage to the 35-year old building, which served as a vital commercial and social hub for the community.

Along with the only grocery store in the community, the building also housed the post office, liquor store, cafe and library.

The community has since created a temporary store inside a local church, and arrangements have been made with BC Ferries to ensure the island village is able to get enough food and supplies.

The nearest grocery store is in Port Hardy, which is more than six hours from Bella Bella by ferry.

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