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Man accused of starting recent fires out on bail

Gambler released with conditions
20210831 East Hill Fire_HS_01_WEB
The man accused of starting a fire Aug. 31 in an abandoned house at 4814 – 45th Avenue in Athabasca has been released from custody after a Sept. 13 bail hearing in Athabasca Provincial Court.

ATHABASCA — A man suspected of setting a string of recent fires in Athabasca last month has been released from the Edmonton Remand Centre. 

In Athabasca Provincial Court Sept. 13, Crown prosecutor Nicole Parker told Judge Jeffery Champion she was prepared to release Marcel Gambler on a $3,000 promise-to-pay bail with several conditions. 

Parker said Gambler must report to a bail supervisor within five days of release and will reside at a specified address in Calling Lake and shall not attend the Scotia Bank, Husky gas station, or the location of the most recent fire at 4814-45th Street in Athabasca. 

Gambler was seen in the vicinity of the alleged arson at that address Aug. 31, said Athabasca RCMP Const. Jay Tessier in a Sept. 2 email. 

He is also being investigated for three other recent fires including the old Home Hardware building Aug. 11, and two fires Aug. 30, another abandoned building on 48th Ave. and a structure fire on 47th Ave. behind the old Pleasant Valley Lodge, now the Athabasca Reformed Congregation. 

Parker added Gambler is not allowed to possess any incendiary devices and must inform his bail supervisor if he moves from the noted Calling Lake address. 

Judge Champion asked duty council Richard Forbes if he had been able to go over the terms with Gambler who was in the Edmonton Remand Centre and Forbes indicated he had and Gambler understood the conditions. 

Gambler will next appear in Athabasca Provincial Court Oct. 5. 

Heather Stocking

About the Author: Heather Stocking

Heather Stocking a reporter at the Athabasca Advocate, a weekly paper in Northern Alberta. Heather covers all aspects of the news in and around Athabasca and Boyle as well as other small communities.
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