Police have confirmed the early morning fire at the Woodfibre LNG and FortisBC Community Office was arson.
Staff Sgt. Jolaine Percival of the Squamish RCMP, who had earlier called the fire suspicious, confirmed Thursday afternoon arson was to blame for the blaze.
She couldn't comment on if there were suspects, she said.
“It is very concerning to hear that this may be arson,” said Mayor Patricia Heintzman on Thursday.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable to put peoples’ lives and livelihoods at risk, and it is my sincere hope that this was not politically motivated. Under no circumstances is it an acceptable form of civil society to express disagreement through such violence. I know that we are collectively better than this in Squamish, and that this individual act does not represent our community as a whole.”
The damage is mainly to the outside of the office, according to Squamish RCMP.
Squamish Fire Rescue was called to the fire at the 38143 Cleveland Ave. office at around 4 a.m., Thursday morning, according to Fire Chief Bill Stoner.
Light smoke and fire were present when the crew arrived, Stoner said.
"An efficient response by Squamish fire allowed for quick extinguishment and confined the fire to the compartment of origin," he said in an emailed statement to The Chief.
Woodfibre LNG spokesperson Jennifer Siddon said Thursday morning the company was holding off on making an official comment while the RCMP investigation was taking place, but thanked the authorities for their efforts.
“WoodfibreLNG would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Squamish Fire Rescue and Squamish RCMP for their quick response to the incident,” she said in an email to The Squamish Chief.
Two RCMP officers were stationed out front of the office Thursday morning and tape is set up around the perimeter of the entrance to the office.
The Community Office will reopen after repairs are made, Siddon said. The Squamish Chief will provide more information as it becomes available.