Abandoned Catholic church on Kehewin Cree Nation destroyed

RCMP cruiser. File Photo jpg, SP

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A youth is facing a charge of arson in relation to a fire at an abandoned church on Kehewin Cree Nation.

RCMP and fire crews responded to the former Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church on July 9 around 9:45 p.m. to reports of a blaze, police said in a news release on the afternoon of July 10. Police believe the fire was deliberately set.

The church structure, which wasn’t occupied at the time, was destroyed in the blaze and no one was injured. Police said the building was slated to be demolished and had been vacant for many years.

The youth has been released from custody and is set to appear in Bonnyville provincial youth court on Sept. 21. The name of the youth won’t be released in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

On June 30, a fire tore through St. Jean Baptiste Parish Church in Morinville. Fire investigators have deemed the fire suspicious and believe it may have been intentionally set but no further details have been given since the blaze last Wednesday.

Kehewin Cree Nation is located about 232 km northeast of Edmonton.