Steinbach firefighters were called to a fire in a vacant home at the corner of Third Street and McKenzie Avenue on Monday night.
Flames and billowing smoke could be observed when crews arrived around 7 p.m., said assistant fire chief Mike Penner.
Penner said that although some neighbourhood residents thought the home was rented, emergency responders confirmed that recent tenants moved from the property at the end of August.
The Office of the Fire Commissioner would not be investigating the fire, Penner said, because the home lacked insurance and was unoccupied. He suggested the low value of the home and lack of insurance would make the house unsalvageable.
The cause of the fire was initially undetermined, but Steinbach fire chief Kel Toews said on Tuesday morning that further investigation has determined that the fire was deliberately set and will now be investigated by police.
Steinbach RCMP added in a release on Tuesday morning the fire likely began in the basement of the home and that arson is suspected.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Steinbach RCMP at (204) 326-4452 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.
Update Sept. 10 at 10:15 a.m.: Adds comments from Steinbach fire chief Kel Toews.
Update Sept. 10 at 10:43 a.m.: Adds further details from Steinbach RCMP.