Fire Fighting in Canada

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Firefighters remain on scene Thursday night after fire at Iqaluit multi residential building

October 2, 2023 
By Jeff Pelletier, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Oct. 2, 2023, Iqaluit – Firefighters were still on scene early Thursday evening after fire damaged a multi-unit residential building in Iqaluit’s Lower Plateau area.

Emergency crews responded to the blaze at house 5316 at around 1:30 p.m. The fire appeared to have spread across the building’s six units, and dozens of onlookers watched as firefighters battled the fire.

Steven Snowball, a resident of one of the next-door buildings, said he was devastated to see the fire, especially with the housing crisis that exists in Iqaluit.

“There’s six beautiful families in these units,” he said in an interview.

“It seems everyone’s OK, but to see your stuff, you know, it’s just heartbreaking.”

As they fought the fire, firefighters could be seen breaking down the doors of the building, which was charred black by the smoke.

That blanket of smoke set off smoke alarms of nearby homes and spread as far as 100 metres away, to Nunavut Arctic College.

The fire appeared to be contained to Building 5316. Several of the balconies were damaged, with the wooden supports falling to the ground.

By 5 p.m., most of the smoke had cleared but firefighters continued to use a ladder truck and hoses to spray the top of the building.

The City of Iqaluit issued a public service announcement at around 2 p.m., advising people to avoid the area and follow the directions of municipal enforcement on site.

The city also warned that water services may be affected as trucks assisted with the response.

There was no word from officials late Thursday as to whether anyone was injured, or if residents in the affected building would be allowed to return home that night.

With files from David Lochead.

–Nunatsiaq News

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