East Elmwood Community Centre Destroyed by Fire

Firefighters battle flames at the East Elmwood Community Centre on Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (MAURICE BRUNEAU / CHRISD.CA)

The East Elmwood Community Centre was destroyed by fire early Wednesday morning.

The blaze at 927 Beach Avenue broke out at about 4:30 a.m. and was reported by two police officers driving by in the area.

About a dozen homes in the area were evacuated as crews battled the heavy smoke. Residents waited on a heated Winnipeg Transit bus while waiting to return to their homes. By about 9 a.m., firefighters were still working to contain the blaze.

Classes at the nearby Kent Road School are cancelled today due to smoke damage.

No word yet on what led to the fire

View the photo gallery below.

UPDATE: The smouldering has finally subsided on the site of the former East Elmwood Community Centre. Area residents say they were assured the community centre would be rebuilt.

A pile of rubble sits where the East Elmwood Community Centre once stood. Fire completely gutted the building early Wednesday morning. (MAURICE BRUNEAU / CHRISD.CA)

UPDATE: Thursday, March 10 — Officials say the cause of the fire has been attributed to arson. Damage is pegged at $2 million.