Officials believe Saturday row house fire in Inuvik deliberately set

Officials believe a fire in Inuvik Saturday night was arson. 

The fire began Saturday evening at a row house located on Kugmallit Road. Firefighters were able to put out the fire without incident.

Jim Sawkins, Inuvik's director of protective services, said the fire was contained to a room on the building's second floor. Nobody was in the building at the time of the fire.

"There is an investigation underway," he said. "It was a set fire. Given there is no power, gas or other utilities attached to this building, and the fact that there were people seen in and around the building prior to."

The building that caught fire had previously been boarded up, shut down, and secured, according to Sawkins, who is asking for people to be on the lookout around the Kugmallit and Inuit Road area of town, and to call the RCMP if they note any suspicious activity.

Sawkins said that there were youth spotted around the row house before and after the fire, adding that he wants "parents to please talk to their children and tell them of the hazards of setting fires, and possibly what may be fun at the time could turn into a major disaster."

The row house has a connection to local businessman Talal Khatib, who is currently facing multiple drug trafficking and bootlegging charges.

Sawkins says the row house was previously owned by "a numbered company that I believe he was a shareholder of." ​