NEWS: Iqaluit May 15, 2018 - 11:00 am

Iqaluit shed burns in Nunavut capital’s third fire of 2018

Unoccupied structure is a loss, but no one was hurt


Iqaluit firefighters doused a burning shed in the centre of Iqaluit late Monday afternoon.

What remains of the badly damaged structure, located behind the row of housing known as Green Row, not far from Nakasuk School, will be demolished over the next two days.

The fire department received a call about the fire at about 4:50 p.m., Iqaluit’s deputy fire chief Nelson Johnson told Nunatsiaq News on Tuesday morning.

Johnson spoke at the site of the fire where he watched members of the fire department hammer signs saying, “Do not enter, extremely dangerous,” on the charred walls of the small white building.

The building was likely one of the prefabricated, 288-square-foot matchbox houses built in the 1960s.

Johnson said that by the time the fire department arrived at the scene yesterday, the shed was blazing. Firefighters then used two hoses to put out the flames quickly.

By about 5:30 p.m., only smoke and steam could be seen rising from the structure.

The shed, owned by the power corporation, contained 10 storage sections, which were fairly empty, Johnson said.

The fire’s cause is still under investigation, but appears to have started in one of those 10 sections.

No one was living in the building, which was boarded up, and firefighters, a combination of volunteer and full-time members, had to rip away boards to get inside to fight the flames.

“They did a good job,” Johnson said of their effort.

It was the third major fire for Iqaluit firefighters since the beginning of 2018.

On April 29, their quick action saved a building in Happy Valley.

Earlier, the new year started with a Jan. 1 fire in a five-plex, begun by a heater used to thaw pipes, which left many homeless.