It’s not how the Village of Liberty wanted to say goodbye, but this past weekend, it was forced to say farewell to its aging hockey rink known as the Beaverdome.
Late Saturday night, the rink went up in flames and eventually collapsed to the ground as crews tried to extinguish the fire.
Liberty Mayor Jennifer Langlois says the fire that started late Saturday night caused crews from multiple jurisdictions to respond quickly.
“Most of the firefighters were out of town that night; there was a function going on in Imperial. One of the citizens that lives just next to the rink heard the fire, saw it and made the 911 call,” she explained.
“All of the firefighters from Liberty (then) responded and we also had to call in the Holdfast, Imperial and Davidson departments because we knew there was possibly going to be an issue with water.”
There was almost an issue with the town’s water system, as the water treatment plant is located right next door to the rink on the east side of the building.
There was nothing going on inside the rink as it had been closed to the public since 2019 because of structural issues.
With the structure all but gone and the water treatment plant so close to the rink, Langlois says the firefighters’ mission quickly became about saving the water treatment plant.
“The water plant did suffer some exterior damage,” she said. “The rink wall is less than five feet away from the water treatment plant. There’s some smoke damage and exterior damage to that building, but right now, everything is working on the interior so that’s what counts.”
According to Langlois, the cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
She suggests it’s unlikely the town will get a new rink in the near future.
“I’m thinking if anything happened in town, we’d (build) some sort of outdoor rink if we could get that off the ground,” she said. “But some serious fundraising would have to be done to get that going.”
Liberty, which is about 115 kilometres northwest of Regina, has a population of only 50 people, according to the mayor.