Iqaluit RCMP say they’ve solved three of four Canada Day weekend fire cases

Investigation continues into suspected arson of waterfront shack

Iqaluit police say they have solved how three out of four fires happened over the weekend, including the one pictured here, where four units of a 10-plex were destroyed. (Photo by Bill Williams)

By Emma Tranter

The Iqaluit RCMP say they have worked out what caused three of the four fires that broke out over the July 1 weekend.

The first fire, on June 29, burned a shack on the beach in the area behind the 200s block.

Police say they suspect that this fire, which spread to two other shacks and destroyed equipment, was caused by an arsonist and that they are still investigating it.

The second fire, which broke out around 5:30 a.m. on June 30, burned a cabin near the old dump in Apex. That fire is related to the ongoing investigation of a second-degree murder charge laid against an Iqaluit man, police say.

RCMP say they have identified the people responsible for that fire and no other information will be released. More charges against the suspects are pending, police say.

The third fire, which broke out about an hour later on the same morning, destroyed four out of 10 units in a residential 10-plex in the city’s Plateau area.

Police say the 10-plex fire was accidental, caused by a burning cigarette put into the garbage in one of the apartments. No charges are pending.

RCMP evacuated all tenants and broke the window of one apartment to rescue a trapped resident, police say.

Residents of the adjacent apartment buildings were also evacuated and the apartment block suffered extensive smoke damage.

The fourth fire, which burned down two sheds behind house 753 in the Lower Base neighbourhood, was caused by a child.

Police said an 11-year-old boy tried to enlarge a small hole in the shed’s outer canvas by setting it on fire so he could see inside.

Police say no charges are pending because of the boy’s age. Under the Youth Justice Act, children under the age of 12 cannot be charged with a criminal offence.

The boy’s parents were involved in a “consultation and interview” about the fire, police said.

One minor injury was reported in the 10-plex fire. No injuries were reported in the other three fires.

Police also continue to investigate the cause of a fire that burned Nanook School’s tupiq in Apex on May 24.

A video was released to the public shortly after the fire that showed the suspect wearing a grey toque, dark coloured jacket and a black backpack with white lettering and trim.

No new leads have come from that video, police say.

RCMP ask anyone with knowledge of any of these incidents to contact the Iqaluit RCMP detachment at 867-979-0123 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by Gross Negligence on

    “Police say the 10-plex fire was accidental, caused by a burning cigarette put into the garbage in one of the apartments. No charges are pending.”

    Charges should be pending in this case, don’t you think?

    • Posted by Firefly on

      Sounds like something like criminal negligence to me?

      • Posted by Not Criminal on

        This could be a simple matter of someone dumping an ashtray in the garbage, with a cigarette still burning in it. I dont see how assumptions of criminal negligence is support by that.

  2. Posted by John K on

    It looks like my hunch about the shed fire was pretty accurate. No surprise; he’ll continue to be a worsening problem.

    • Posted by OH IMA on

      I am happy for your John K! I am hoping this child remember he’s a child will get the support and love he’ll need to turn his life around. I am pretty sure he’s parents have issues of their own too. I am pretty sure like most children in Nunavut he doesn’t get to get to have a full meal (7/10 children will go hungry today) and I am not blaming society I am just stating the facts. If we as a society really cares this should be a wake up call for everyone one of many wake up calls that mental health, poverty and inequity that we as Inuit face in our own land to really do something about it instead of judging and not just pray for the child but somehow get rally around him. That is how Inuit traditional justice system was done, we try to fix the mind and not break it. Maybe it’s a cry for help from the child but deep down he doesn’t realize it is.

  3. Posted by Steve L on

    My first thought is that the fire separation between units was not sufficient to prevent, what looks like a rapid spread of flames. Is this a standards or construction issue?

  4. Posted by Oracle on

    Condolences to all who lost their homes in to fire.

    How can we help you?

  5. Posted by Tagak Curley on

    It’s time to over haul the fire and safety laws making cigarettes related fire serious offences. More must be done to hold parents accountable caused by under age children. Those kids are probably smoking.

    • Posted by Ban smoking indoors on

      Why is smoking inside NHC units even permitted? Weed and cigarettes are both responsible for so many fires in Nunavut every year

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