Photo gallery: demolition of St. Rita’s Catholic church after arson fire

St. Rita's Catholic church demolition Thursday, March 29 in Castlegar.

Before and after photographs of St. Rita's Catholic church

Before and after photographs of St. Rita's Catholic church

The Castlegar Fire Department., FortisBC, natural gas providers, heavy equipment sub-contractors, restoration experts and security personnel were all on hand Thursday, March 29 in Castlegar to help with the demolition of what remained of St. Rita’s Catholic church.

Investigators say the church, located at the corner of 5th Street and 7th Avenue in Castlegar, was gutted by a fire, believed to have been deliberately set, in one of two blazes on Monday, March 25.

The other fire involved a Red Cross van near the Kinnaird Community Church.

A third fire, around 10 a.m. Thursday, March 28 occurred in a garage in the 300 Block of 7th Ave. in Castlegar. The cause of that fire is still under investigation.

There were no injuries reported in any of the fires nor have any arrests been made.

Gordie Zaporozan, with Valet Restoration, said some items were found inside a safe box and returned to the church. He said it will likely take about two weeks to haul all the debris away.

It took approximately 30 minutes to bring down the remaining parts of the church using heavy equipment.

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call Castlegar RCMP at  250-365-7721 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Callers to CRIME STOPPERS remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.