Fire destroys Nunavik hockey arena
“I don’t think the building will be recovered”
A Nunavik community lost its hockey arena to a major fire this week.
A fire is suspected to have started in the furnace room of the arena in Kangirsuk late during the night of Sunday, April 7, likely due to a faulty heating system, municipal officials said.
The fire burned through the building all day on Monday, while local firefighters tried to douse the blaze.
“It’s still smoking,” said Kangirsuk’s acting mayor, Jeannie Nungak, Tuesday morning.
“I don’t think the building will be recovered.”
Nungak said the building’s exterior structure is still intact, but the arena’s interior was largely destroyed in the fire.
Nungak said that as far as the municipality and firefighters are aware, there was no one in the arena at the time.
Due to the heavy smoke, Kangirsuk’s school closed Monday afternoon.
But Nungak said the community is fortunate the fire wasn’t more extensive; winds blew much of the smoke away from the community of about 600 and prevented the fire from spreading to other buildings.
The arena was built in the early 1990s, with a large Montreal Canadiens logos on one exterior wall, and was home to all of Kangirsuk’s recreational hockey programming.
The building used to house some municipal office space, although Nungak said that had sat vacant for several years.