Inuvik asks caregivers to help after small fires allegedly started by children

·2 min read
Inuvik Fire was called to 195 Mackenzie Rd, known as McCauley (TeePee) Apartments, after reports of a fire under the structure, a news release says. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC - image credit)
Inuvik Fire was called to 195 Mackenzie Rd, known as McCauley (TeePee) Apartments, after reports of a fire under the structure, a news release says. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC - image credit)

Two fires possibly caused by children have the town if Inuvik, N.W.T., asking caregivers to help deter the behaviour.

The town said Thursday police are looking into a fire allegedly started by young children under an apartment building on Thursday morning.

Just before 7 a.m., Inuvik Fire service was called to 195 Mackenzie Rd, known as McCauley (TeePee) Apartments, after reports of a fire under the structure, a news release said.

The tenant who first alerted the fire department reported that she could smell smoke and that smoke was entering her apartment. The town said she and another occupant "quickly alerted other tenants to evacuate."

Witnesses said two children were seen under the building, the release said.

The fire was found under the building by first responders and was extinguished shortly afterward.

No children were initially found under or near the building, the release said. Fire personnel looked for any other fires under the building, as well as in the nearby Chief Jim Koe building, as a precaution. No other fires were found.

The fire services responded with 11 personnel, in addition to RCMP.

Police later found two youths under age 12 who allegedly started the fire.

"Investigation and actions are being undertaken with the children and their parents," the release said.

"The fire under the apartment building put the tenants at serious risk to health and life, in addition to damaging property. The consequences could have [been] much more tragic."

At about 8:30 a.m., RCMP notified the fire department of a second fire on the shore of Twin Lakes, which police had extinguished, the release said.

Children seen in the area

There were several groups of children seen in the area, not only at the time of the fire, but throughout the night and early morning, the release said.

The city said it recognizes that "while mostly innocent, groups of children may also create a situation where peer pressure affects a child's ability to make safe decisions."

It's asking caregivers to speak to their children about the danger of fires, keep matches and lighters out of reach and to encourage children to contact emergency services if they witness unsafe behaviour.

Those who are concerned about "fire setting behaviour in youth," can contact Inuvik Fire for further assistance.

The news release said no further details will be released at this time.

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