Municipal District of Bonnyville Media Release
Early morning fire destroys church in Cherry Grove
April 28, 2023 – Firefighters from Cold Lake, Bonnyville, La Corey, and Iron River were called to Cherry Grove early this morning for a fire that destroyed The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
According to Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority (BRFA) Regional Fire Chief Dan Heney, a 911 call was made around 3:20 a.m. to report the fire. Station 9 Cold Lake responded with three pumpers, a tanker, and a ladder truck. At around 4 a.m., Heney received a call from the Cold Lake Fire Chief for assistance. Tankers from Bonnyville, La Corey, and Iron River were called to the scene. Heney said he received a report that the church was fully involved, with the fire breaking through the roof.
“It’s a complete loss,” he said of the church.
During this time, RCMP members attending the scene came across a second fire at the Cherry Grove Canada Post office. RCMP put out the smaller fire before it could do significant damage. Heney says both fires are suspicious in nature.
“We found some evidence on site that makes the fire very suspicious,” he said. “And the way the fire was acting also indicates it’s suspicious.”
“Our prayers and sympathies are with the community in Cherry Grove,” said Reeve Barry Kalinski. “This is a devastating loss, especially knowing the high possibility both were set deliberately. We hope that anyone with information about either fire comes forward.”
Both fires are currently under investigation. Anyone with any information should call the BRFA at 780-826-4755.
Photo courtesy of Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority