Cambridge woman flees fire, dies of exposure


A 53-year-old Cambridge Bay woman is dead after a cabin fire forced her and her husband into the cold with only their bedclothes.

Police say Margaret Lyall died from hypothermia after she and her husband Johnny fled from a burning cabin several kilometres outside Cambridge Bay on Saturday.

The couple was asleep in the cabin when a candle fell over during the night and ignited curtains. They had no time when they awoke to gather clothing to protect them from the storm conditions that lasted most of the weekend.

Johnny Lyall survived 36 hours wrapped in a tarp and caribou skins before being rescued by a RCMP search party that had gone looking for a different group of campers. He was taken to the Cambridge Bay Health Centre where he was examined, treated for minor burns and monitored for a short time prior to being released.

Cambridge Bay RCMP, the Nunavut Coroner’s Office and the Nunavut Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the incident.

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