Yellowknife police investigate three suspicious fires

Yellowknife police investigate three suspicious fires
A fire ravages a warehouse in the Kam Lake neighbourhood of Yellowknife last week. It was one of many suspicious blazes city fire crews responded to within 48 hours. The warehouse later burnt to the ground, though no one was injured. The investigation continues.Photo: James MacKenzie.

Yellowknife RCMP are investigating three suspicious fires in the city last week.

A warehouse in the Kam Lake area burnt to the ground early last Wednesday morning after firefighting crews spent four hours trying to bring the flames under control.

The fire department was faced with “heavy yellowish and grey smoke billowing out many different voids” on the structure upon their arrival, stated a press release, indicating the structure’s interior was engulfed entirely in flames.

“This was an extremely difficult fire to fight due to the structure being constructed of mostly metal. This made the inside like an oven on the highest possible setting,” said Darcy Hernblad, City of Yellowknife Fire Chief.

Smoke billows over the Kam Lake area in Yellowknife during a warehouse fire last week that took fire crews four hours to control.

Photo: James MacKenzie

Smoke billows over the Kam Lake area in Yellowknife during a warehouse fire last week that took fire crews four hours to control.

A total of 24 personnel responded to the incident with two engines, two tankers, one ambulance, one rescue and one command unit.

Crews had to cut holes to allow the elevated heat to escape. It is believed that the majority of smoke and heat were caused from spray foam insulation in the structure, which made it easy for the fire to spread quickly.

The warehouse belonged to Wilf’s Renovations, a building company known for its restoration work with fire and flood damaged structures. No one was inside the building.

Earlier that same morning, fire crews responded to a house fire in N’Dilo, summoning all on-call and off-duty firefighters to help.

The three residents of the property and one hamster made it safely out of the burning home.

“Our priority is the safe-being of the public. In this instance all the occupants of the dwelling were outside, so our firefighters were able to focus on ensuring the fire did not spread to other structures,” Hernblad said in a press release.

The fire took approximately 2.5 hours to bring under control due to it being well established in the roof space. The fire was investigated and determined to be accidental in nature, caused by smoking material located at the front entrance to the home.

The fire department was kept on its toes with yet another call the morning of July 24 involving a vehicle fire on 47th Street near the Goga Cho building.

Crews found a Nissan Xterra with smoke showing from the rear of the vehicle. The fire was quickly suppressed with one attack line after opening the door to the vehicle. No one was injured.

Additionally, around 2:30 a.m. on July 23, another vehicle was reported to be on fire in Daniel’s Court. Fire crews gained control of the situation before it spread and no one was injured. Police believe this was not a random attack. The investigation is continuing.

RCMP are working with the Office of the Fire Chief on the cases. It is unknown if the causes of the fires are related.

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