The investigation into a suspicious fire that razed an historic home continues, but police acknowledge they don’t have much to go on.
Blue Hills RCMP are investigating Wednesday’s suspicious blaze which destroyed the Big House on the Criddle/Vane Homestead Provincial Heritage Park.
Mounties have examined the scene, but so far there are no clues and no witnesses identified. The cause is unknown, but investigators suspect arson.
"If people want to help us out and give us some tips, that would be great … We’ve got no evidence of anything," RCMP Cpl. Jarrid St-Pierre said on Friday.
Police were called to the home around 10 p.m. on Wednesday and arrived to find the structure engulfed in flames. Wawanesa firefighters couldn’t save it.
The eight-bedroom home was built in 1906 and was part of the Criddle/Vane historic site, about 12 kilometres south of CFB Shilo.
The property has been a repeated target for vandalism in recent years.
Last month, that ongoing vandalism forced the provincial Department of Conservation and Water Stewardship to place the home off limits.
At the time of its destruction, the house looked derelict. Its windows were boarded up and it was closed to the public.
Based on the previous vandalism, and the fact there’s no power to the remote property that could have sparked a fire, police consider the blaze suspicious.
RCMP ask anyone with information to contact Blue Hills RCMP at 204-726-7519. Or, submit a tip to Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477, online at manitobacrimestoppers.com or by texting "TIPMAN" plus your message to CRIMES (274637).
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 28, 2014