Dump torched...again
Police say youths started Sunday fire

Ian Elliot
Northern News Services

INUVIK (May 15/98) - Police say a fire at the town dump on Sunday was deliberately set by two youths.

At about 4 p.m. that day, firefighters were called to a blaze in the main dumping area and spent several hours putting out the fire. They had to use a bulldozer to plow their way through to the fast-spreading blaze, which was punctuated with the thuds of exploding aerosol cans.

The fire was isolated in the northwest corner of the tipping area and did not spread to the entire dump.

The last time the football field-sized dump caught fire was on Jan. 9, 1997, when it smouldered for several weeks and cost the town $80,000. The fire department, hampered by mechanical breakdowns and

-40 C temperatures, finally assigned three volunteer firefighters to the job full-time for a week to extinguish the stubborn fire, which had been set.

Conditions Sunday were less than pleasant as recent warm weather had thawed out the town's waste. As one firefighter noted while wading out of the smelly, knee-deep, smoking piles of garbage, "This place is disgusting."

Police say the fire was started by two youths, aged 13 and 10, who then attempted to put the fire out without success. Police arrested the two at the site.

Charges against the 13-year-old are being considered, say police. The 10-year-old cannot be charged because the federal Young Offenders Act prohibit charges being laid against anyone younger than 12.

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