Iqaluit fire crews respond to apartment fire believed to be caused by 'beat up' phone charger

·2 min read
A damaged phone charger is believed to be the reason behind an apartment fire in Iqaluit. (Submitted by Layla Autut - image credit)
A damaged phone charger is believed to be the reason behind an apartment fire in Iqaluit. (Submitted by Layla Autut - image credit)

Iqaluit resident Layla Autut says she is lucky to be safe after a fire accident in her apartment.

Autut lives in the 5100-block of the plateau neighbourhood in Iqaluit. She woke up to her cell phone charger on fire, which she had plugged in on the wall by her bed without her phone connected.

At around 3 a.m., she woke up to a burning sensation on her arm.

Submitted by Layla Autut
Submitted by Layla Autut

"I was scared. I tried to keep as calm as possible and not freak out because the fire was already too big for me to put out myself," Autut recalls. "I did what I could and I woke up my neighbours and we all left the building."

Iqaluit Emergency Services responded to the fire, with 11 firefighters, three fire trucks and two ambulances, and brought it under control.

Submitted by Layla Autut
Submitted by Layla Autut

While tenants in the apartment building evacuated right away, they were able to reoccupy their homes within an hour, according to a City of Iqaluit news release.

Autut says she never imagined she would experience such an accident, and that she is lucky to not have been burned herself.

"You don't ever think it would happen to you. But that's exactly what I thought and it definitely did happen to me," she said.

"I won't be doing that again and I advise other people not to do that — unplug your phone during the night or don't sleep with it on your bed or anywhere that might cause a fire."

She said her charger was "pretty beat up," which may have contributed to the fire.

Iqaluit's fire department recommended making sure all electronics are charged in well-ventilated places and not left on beds or other soft surfaces to overheat.

Autut says her bed was damaged and there was water all over the floor from the sprinklers. She is currently staying at a hotel until she can return home.

Submitted by Layla Autut
Submitted by Layla Autut
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