Youth admits role in setting hospital fire; sentencing Jan. 30

Richard Froese
South Peace News

One of two youths charged and admitting to setting a fire at the old High Prairie Health Complex in September will be sentenced at the end of the month.

The 15-year-old male youth, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, will be sentenced Jan. 30 in High Prairie youth court.

Duty counsel Harry Jong spoke as an agent for lawyer Lisa Trach in youth court Jan. 6 when the matter was discussed.

“She wants to adjourn the matter to Jan. 30 for summary disposition when she will be here,” Jong said.

A co-accused male, also 15, was sentenced on summary disposition in Grande Prairie youth court Dec. 18. However, no details are available.

Both youths were charged with arson, mischief causing damage over $5,000 and break and enter.

Firefighters responded to a fire in the old High Prairie Health Complex on Sept. 18 around 1:50 p.m.

The building has been vacant since the new High Prairie Health Complex east of town opened in April 2017.

High Prairie fire chief Trevor Cisaroski says damage is estimated at $250,000.

“The fire was in a hallway in one of the wings of the building,” Cisaroski says.

Several break-ins at the site have concerned the High Prairie town council.

The fire sparked renewed efforts by council to plea the provincial government to demolish the building that has become a hazard and eyesore.

A petition was launched in early December to collect support to lobby the provincial government to demolish the building.

Local resident James Waikle initiated the petition and supported by the High Prairie and Area Chamber of Commerce.

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