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Small town Alberta arena burns to ground

The hockey players of Mayerthorpe, Alberta will be looking for a new place to skate this winter.
Once a year, Mayerthorpe, Alberta’s wooden structure hockey arena served as a place of comfort. The small arena, located 75 miles northwest of Edmonton, was the home ice for the town’s youth teams and also served as the site of an annual charity hockey game commemorating one of the most shocking events in province history — when RCMP troppers were shot and killed three years ago.

On Tuesday, the 36-year old arena burned to the ground. Local officials have no idea what started the blaze.

October was scheduled to be the start of the 2008-2009 minor hockey season. Officials said at they are not sure if the season can be saved at this point. The city is in a rural part of the province and the nearest arena is 50 miles away.

Mayor Doug McDermid said the fire is a devastating blow for the town, but vowed they will rebuild the arena.

"We’re going to have to build something to ensure that type of activity carries on," he said.

No one inside the building at the time. No one was hurt in the fire.