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NNSL Photo/Graphic

Robin Kolit of Coral Harbour aims the nozzle while Henry Kaput of Rankin Inlet and David Illungiayok of Arviat (back) support him on the hose battling a house fire in Rankin this past Friday. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Blaze erupts in Rankin

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (July 21/04) - Volunteer firefighters from across the Kivalliq region received more training than originally scheduled this past week in Rankin Inlet.

The firefighters were in Rankin for a Level One fire-training course when a blaze erupted at a three-unit dwelling around noon on July 16.

Rankin Inlet fire chief Rick Penner said 25 firefighting personnel fought the blaze at 110 Tiriganaq Street for about four hours before bringing it under control.

A short in the kitchen's electrical wiring is being blamed for the fire

The originating unit suffered extensive damage, while the dwelling's second unit sustained serious damages. The third unit received some smoke damage.

Penner said the building was insured.

"The firefighters performed beyond our expectations," said Penner.

"They did an excellent job under a less-than-ideal situation."

Penner said having extra firefighters in town to attend the training course was a Godsend.

He said as it turned out, the extra manpower was badly needed.

"Every one of the 20 firefighters at the scene had a job to do.

"The way the fire developed, and the way we had to fight it, we had teams going in and out of the building constantly.

"In a situation like that, people get tired very quickly and need to catch their breath, so we had to use every firefighter there."

Smoke causes problems

Penner said the source of the fire was difficult to locate because it started from an electrical source inside a wall.

"We know it would have burned inside the wall for quite a while before opening up and destroying the interior of the house.

"There was such heavy smoke when we got there, we had a great deal of trouble finding things.

"We knew the area we had to be concerned with, but combatting the smoke caused a lot of problems."

Damage estimates were not available at press time.