Glace Bay non-profit feeling the sting after two vehicles set ablaze

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CTV Atlantic

Published Tuesday, May 7, 2019 10:49PM ADT

Last Updated Tuesday, May 7, 2019 10:53PM ADT

A not-for-profit group in Cape Breton is dealing with a major loss to its operations.

Two vehicles used by the Glace Bay’s Men’s and Women’s Centre have been destroyed by fire.

The loss is in the tens of thousands of dollars as a 2012 Silverado and a 2008 Envoy were reduced to charred wrecks in the early morning hours of May 2.

That day, a woman walking past the club spotted the fire and called authorities. 

“We’ve supported the community and the area for the past 11 years through medical donations, food banks,” said president Jeff Knarr. “The fact somebody would feel the need to try to steal or burn the vehicles is unbelievable.”

Twenty minutes before the call came in, club officials noticed a man on their security surveillance who appears to be trying to gain access to the building. They believe he is responsible for starting the fire.

“He was caught on camera breaking into the back of the grey envoy through the hatch,” said club secretary Jeanette MacDonald.“He climbed in, opened the hood to try and remove the battery to boost the other club vehicle. Apparently the battery exploded and caused both vehicles to catch fire.”

Cape Breton Regional Police are not confirming the details of the surveillance video, but they are treating the fire as suspicious.  So far they haven’t made any arrests.

“Due to the damage on the vehicles, the individual may have acid or electrical burns on his body,” said Knarr. “They said wherever he’s hiding, he’s probably sore.”

The vehicles were used for transportation, and plowing the club’s lots during the winter months. Both only had liability insurance. Knarr estimates a loss of more than $30,000.

While the club is devastated, they’re even more hurt that some people in the community are pointing the finger at them.

“There has been posts and comments made as it’s an insurance job,” MacDonald said. “We are a non-profit organization. We have no issues with anyone or any reason to pull a stupid stunt like this.”

The club is now left with the cost of removing both vehicles while they await information on who may be responsible.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.

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