Iqaluit firefighters tackle two fires over five-hour period

Two fires leave three with injuries, $50,000 in damage

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

This is how House 117 in Iqaluit looked only hours after a destructive space heater fire caused and estimated $45,000 in damages. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)


This is how House 117 in Iqaluit looked only hours after a destructive space heater fire caused and estimated $45,000 in damages. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)

(updated 11:45 a.m.)

The City of Iqaluit’s fire department responded to two fires on the evening of Nov. 28 and into the early hours of Nov. 29 that left three people with injuries.

At 8:10 p.m. on Nov. 28, firefighters were alerted to the first fire on the fourth floor of the eight-storey apartment building at the Astro Hill complex.

One person suffered smoke inhalation due to that fire.

Iqaluit fire chief Luc Grandmaison told Nunatsiaq News that the fire started in a garbage can.

The woman living in the apartment managed to extinguish the flames before the fire department arrived, he said, but, in the process, she was left with injuries due to smoke inhalation.

The heat from the blaze also caused nearby paint to blister, Grandmaison said, causing about $5,000 in damages.

Firefighters then responded to a second fire at house 117 about 1 a.m. Nov. 29.

That fire left two people injured with burns and smoke inhalation.

This fire resulted from a space heater which was spewing out heat too close to a wall. The wall eventually caught fire, Grandmaison said.

The two occupants of the dwelling were already outside when firefighters arrived.

With no working smoke detectors in the residence, “they are lucky to still be alive,” Grandmaison said, adding that people should make sure their smoke detectors work.

Space heaters should generally stand at least 48 inches from the nearest wall.

All three injured during the night’s two fires were taken to the Qikiqtani General Hospital by the Iqaluit fire department’s ambulance.

The two fires, both classified as accidental, caused total damages of about $50,000.

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