Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/7/2017 (1383 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Police have identified a boy as the main suspect in a suspected arson at the new, multimillion-dollar emergency department under construction at Grace Hospital.
The 11-year-old was arrested by patrolling officers at about 4 a.m. Tuesday in the area of Sturgeon Road and Ness Avenue with evidence that links him to the blaze, police said. He was later released to his guardian.
The Youth Criminal Justice Act prohibits youths under 12 years old from being charged with criminal offences. Instead, they are returned to their homes. Suspects in cases such as this often involve children who are under the supervision of child welfare authorities.
Because of child welfare laws, foster children are rarely publicly identified as being under provincial care.
No one was injured in the blaze that authorities were called to at about 10:50 p.m. Monday.
Police said called the fire a suspected arson and advised the major crime unit is leading the investigation.
The hospital in St. James was not damaged but fire and police crews blocked off Booth Street for hours overnight to battle the blaze.
Flames were contained to new construction at the site.
Crews arrived on scene to see flames shooting from the roof, soffit and fascia on the north side of the building.
They also reported their firefighting efforts were hampered when the nearest water hydrant failed. They found another hydrant, and fought their fight from an aerial ladder.
Firefighters were still assessing damages, which were reported to be significant.
Grace General Hospital has had two major construction projects on the go for years: a $10.5-million MRI suite that opened a year ago and a $22-million emergency medicine department that had been slated for opening late this year.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said early Tuesday morning the fire was contained to the emergency department under construction.
The new building is separate from the main hospital.
It's too early to say whether the fire will set back construction.
"Otherwise we don't have any additional info to what emergency crews put out last night at this point but will update if that changes," a WRHA spokeswoman said.
The fire comes at a critical time, just as health care is about to undergo major changes in Winnipeg.
This spring the provincial government announced a major consolidation of the city's ERs, closing down half of them, in an effort to extract efficiencies from the health care system and cut long wait times to see a doctor.
The province said the only hospitals left with functioning ERs would be the Health Sciences Centre, St. Boniface General Hospital and the Grace.