My Little Corner of Canada


by JOHN AMAGOALIK It happens to others

Accidents, getting lost, and fires. These are things that happen to other people but not to me. Or so we think. But the truth is that these things can happen to anybody, anytime.

This reality was brought home to me recently when our house almost burned to the ground. If not for the quick work of Iqaluit’s fire department, the house and all that was in it would have gone up in smoke. I was lucky to get away with burned fingers and some personal belongings.

When we hear about misfortunes that happen every day, sometimes we are smug in the thought that we are somehow immune to such bad luck. The fire in our house blew away that smugness from me like a feather in a blizzard.

I know that I am not immune or somehow exempted from accidents and tragedies. But, like most people, sometimes I get careless. We all do. Sometimes we don’t take the necessary precautions or take unnecessary risks. When that happens, we pay the price.

Most accidents and fires would never happen if people would just think and do things according to common sense. Make sure there are no fire hazards around the house. Keep lighters and matches away from children. Have a plan to escape from a fire. These are things that our firefighters tell us all the time. We should take their advice very seriously.

As I said, I was lucky to get away with burned thumbs. Ian Todd was not so lucky. He died in a fire just hours after the fire in our house. Our deepest sympathies go to his parents and the rest of his family.

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