One firefighter injured after fires destroy Inuvik warming shelter

·1 min read
In the aftermath of two fires at the Inuvik Warming Shelter, the building's husk shows severe damage. Firefighters had to use an excavator to get at some of the hot spots in the building. (Submitted by Kristian Binder - image credit)
In the aftermath of two fires at the Inuvik Warming Shelter, the building's husk shows severe damage. Firefighters had to use an excavator to get at some of the hot spots in the building. (Submitted by Kristian Binder - image credit)

One Inuvik firefighter is in stable condition after slipping on an icy surface while battling a second fire at the town's warming shelter on Saturday.

Cynthia Hammond, Inuvik's fire chief and director of protective services, stated in a Sunday, Nov. 28, press release that the firefighter was being treated at the Inuvik Regional Hospital and no civilians were injured in the fire.

The cause of the fire is being investigated, and isn't considered suspicious.

The fire was the second one to strike the warming shelter in two days, after an initial fire on Friday forced the warming shelter's services to relocate to the homeless shelter at 5 Berger Street. That first fire was deemed to be electrical

Hammond wrote that smoke was venting out of the shelter's roof when firefighters responded to the second fire around 5:46 p.m. on Saturday. No one was inside the building.

Firefighters initially tried to enter the building to fight the fire, but unsafe conditions inside forced them to attack it from the outside instead. Several hours later, there were still isolated fires burning inside that couldn't be reached.

"Access to the interior of the building was limited due to the construction of the building, close proximity to powerlines and frigid weather causing ice build up," Hammond wrote.

"An excavator was used to gain access to these locations."

Twenty-five firefighters and six trucks responded to Saturday's fire.

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