Skids of pop, chips and some equipment only losses after Matco building fire in Norman Wells

Five skids of freight and some equipment are the only losses from a fire at the Matco building in Norman Wells, N.W.T., the building's owners report.

An electrical malfunction caused a fire that destroyed Manitoulin Transport's warehouse in Norman Wells Friday afternoon, said Claude Chaulk, a security manager with the company.

Fire destroyed everything in the building, including the skids of freight containing things like pop, chips and flour. But "nothing substantial" was lost, Chaulk said.  

The heating oil and fuel tanks on the property were saved and no one was injured in the blaze. 

"Absolutely it could have been worse," Chaulk said.

"Had it come at a different time, there are times when we have a lot of freight in there. But we were fortunate we didn't."


Chaulk praised first-responders, thanking them for their quick work.

"I can't say enough about the Norman Wells response, particularly the fire department," he said.

"These people were there within 10 minutes of the call going in. Norman Wells has a lot to be proud of. It's unbelievable how that little town came together.

"These communities seem to do it right in a time of need."

Service from Manitoulin Transport hasn't been interrupted since the fire. Chaulk said he's not certain, but freight will likely be left in the trailers until it is delivered.   

The company will work rebuild the warehouse once barge shipping season begins. It's expected to cost $1.5 million.