Fire at Matco building in Norman Wells endangers winter road cargo

A fire at the Matco building in the N.W.T. community of Norman Wells may have damaged or destroyed cargo destined for smaller communities.

Town officials say the fire started just before noon and no one was inside the building. 

The old Matco building, now owned by Manitoulin Transport, is near the town's airport, and across the road from a gas station. 

Mayor Nathan Watson says the building functions as a warehouse for the trucking company and was full of cargo moving through the community. 

"Everything that comes up here — essentially everything you don't want to have to pay to fly on the jet — we're in the process of getting a lot of it right now. It's smack dab in the middle of the winter road season."

He said bystanders could hear ammunition going off, and there were likely tanks of compressed gas and small fuel tanks in the building along with an assortment of other goods.