Man charged after fire destroys historic church on Saugeen First Nation
SAUGEEN FIRST NATION, ONT. -- A 49-year-old man is facing charges after three suspicious fires on Saugeen First Nation overnight, including one that destroyed a historic church.
Officers responded to Wesley United Church, at the Saugeen First Nation Amphiteatre and Gardens, around 1:30 a.m. Monday.
According to the Amphitheatre website, the church was the location for the signing of one of the early First Nation treaties. The Ontario Heritage Trust lists the start of construction of the church as 1891.
While on scene at that fire, OPP say they learned about two other church fires on the First Nation, at The Church of Jesus Christ and Saugeen Fellowship Baptist Church.
Around 4:30 a.m. OPP Canine Unit and Emergency Response Team members located and arrested a suspect in a wooded area on Saugeen First Nation.
He has been charged with arson - damage to property and mischief over $5,000. He was remanded in custody following a bail hearing.
The Grey Bruce OPP Crime Unit and the Ontario Fire Marshal's Office are investigating the fires.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-888-310-1122 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
A section of Highway 21 was closed as a result of the fires and the investigation but has since reopened.