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Bowden Hotel fire probe rules blaze as ‘suspicious’

Olds RCMP still investigating and asking citizens with information on Bowden hotel fire to come forward.
MVT Bowden fire suspicious July 2022
A fire investigator's report has deemed the devastating New Year's Day fire that destroyed the abandoned Bowden Hotel as suspicious. File Photo/MVP Staff

BOWDEN, Alta — The fire that destroyed the pioneer Bowden Hotel on New Year’s Day has officially been deemed suspicious.

In a news release issued earlier today (Monday, July 4), police said Olds RCMP is still investigating the case.

RCMP Cpl. Gina Slaney said in the news release that the ruling determining the fire is now officially classified as “suspicious” follows a report that was received from the fire investigator looking into the case.

Slaney said police are seeking public assistance in the case and are asking anyone who might have been in the area and have information about the fire to come forward.

She said RCMP are specifically looking for people who might have surveillance cameras to check for suspicious activity between 11 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2021 and 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2022.

Any citizen who has relevant information may contact Olds RCMP at 403-556-3324 or their local police.

If citizens wish to remain anonymous, they can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.comor by using the "P3 Tips" app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

The Bowden Hotel caught fire just minutes into 2022, forcing an emergency response from more than two dozen regional firefighters who for more than 15 hours battled the blaze amidst bitter cold.

It was decided by fire officials late in the afternoon of Jan. 1 it was best to demolish the smouldering ruins due to safety concerns. The ruins are still present and fenced off at the corner of Highway 2A and 20th Street.

The Bowden Hotel, according to local history buffs, was originally built in 1904 and burnt down the first time in 1925. It was rebuilt and opened again in 1930. The building was abandoned in 2015.