BY JONATHAN GAUTHIER, WITH FILES FROM TWILA AMATO AND JAMES WOOD

COURTENAY B.C- The HMCS Alberni Museum and Archives (HAMM) was damaged by fire this afternoon.

RCMP responded to a call after the museum reported someone had started a fire in front of their building.

The fire was small, but damaged a brochure rack, and a window adjacent to the museum was also damaged.

Bystander Graham Woods, said he saw a man light the fire, and leave the scene.

“He had started a fire in the brochures and it was really starting to go, he looked at me and walked off like nothing had happened, it was either deal with him or put the fire out,” said Woods.

According to the museum’s Facebook page, the suspect was also involved in the fire at the nearby Cona Hostel, which heavily damaged that building earlier today.

A request for comment on the matter has been sent to the Comox Valley RCMP.

Courtenay fire chief Don Bardonnex has confirmed that everyone staying at the Cona Hostel has been accounted for.

He added that the fire started in the upper level of the hostel and was contained in that floor.

The scene has been turned to the RCMP for investigation. Bardonnex couldn’t confirm whether or not the two fires were linked.