Williams Lake RCMP secure the back entry to Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge Friday morning. The scene was subject to a fire overnight. While there appears to be damage to the back of the Diamonds and Dust building, neighbouring buildings did not receive any damage. Angie Mindus photo

UPDATE: RCMP confirm they are investigating downtown fire at Diamonds and Dust as arson

Patrons at Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge were evacuated safely

Williams Lake RCMP are treating a fire started in the back of Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge at 84 Oliver Street Thursday evening as arson.

RCMP Cpl. Madonna Saunderson, North District NCO, confirmed police were called to the business at 10:33 p.m. Thursday, May 2.

“The staff had located a fire in the rear of the building and called the fire department and safely evacuated the building,” Saunderson said in a news release.

“The fire was contained to a door at the rear and quickly extinguished. There have been no reports of injuries and an estimate of damage is not yet known.”

Sue Lachance, owner of New World Café at 72 Oliver Street, said Friday morning thankfully her business next door did not sustain any damage.

“I’m just happy that we’re safe and everybody’s safe and I thank the fire department for coming in as quickly as apparently they did and kudos to them for being on task.”

Fire Chief Erick Peterson confirmed his department put out the fire in about an hour, and said that they were lucky it didn’t get into the structure of the building, considering its age.

“If the fire had gotten into the structure it would have been much more difficult to stop,” Peterson said Friday.

“It’s a historical part of town … it has different fire separations, different codes.”

Peterson added staff at the business assisted in the success by using extinguishers on the fire, keeping it manageable until fire crews arrived.

“If they hadn’t used the extinguishers it would have grown quick.”

Saunderson said the investigation is ongoing and police are looking to the public to help further this investigation.

“Police would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed this fire, or may have information on the person(s) responsible for this arson.”

Read More: Williams Lake RCMP investigate overnight disturbance downtown

Police do not know at this time whether the arson is linking to the recent disturbance at the same establishment where shots were fired, she said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Williams Lake RCMP at 250 392-6211 or Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222 8477.

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