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Officials believe there was no link between Gordon Block fire and gas meter sabotage

SaskEnergy and Regina’s fire department say there appears to be no connection between damages to multiple gas meters and a downtown building fire, even though both happened at the same time.

Fire crews battled a blaze at Gordon Block – a municipal heritage site just north of Victoria Park on 12th Avenue – while a vandal was going around the neighbourhood smashing gas meters over the weekend.

“Twenty-five meters were impacted and just two of those were impacted with release of gas,” SaskEnergy spokesperson Jodi Woollam explained.

Police have charged a 39-year-old man with endangering life as well as 30 other charges including mischief and assault with a weapon.

According to acting Chief Dean Rae, police were perplexed by the incidents.

“I have no idea why he did this,” he told CTV News. “You know we don’t see events like this very often and it’s very concerning when they do occur.”

The suspect was spotted by firefighters as they fought the major blaze in the Gordon Block early Sunday morning – with one fire inspector even allegedly being threatened by the suspect.

SaskEnergy and Regina’s fire department don’t think the two incidents are connected.

Investigators will determine the cause of the fire through building demolition.

“Up in the bucket, visualizing what we can see because it’s just not a safe place to have my inspectors, investigators or myself go in,” fire marshal Randy Ryba explained.

Gordon Block, a century old municipal heritage property located at 2170 12th Ave, can be seen here on Sept. 25 following a fire. (Gareth Dillistone/CTV News)

The city says the building owner had previously applied to demolish the building but it was withdrawn.

Heritage elements are a concern and demolition crews say they will save what they can.

For director of planning Autumn Dawson, there are certain areas of the building they’d like to focus on.

“Lions heads and some of the stonework around the opening of the building,” she explained. “And some of the lower level brick.”

The city says there had been previous discussions with the building owner on heritage conservation.

That’s now less of a consideration. The city says safety and the needs of the fire investigation will dictate how the demolition is carried out. Top Stories

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