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Fire destroys Navy Road home
Occupants able to escape to safety, now staying with family

Meagan Leonard
Northern News Services
Thursday, July 9, 2015

Two people and their dog are safe following a structure fire that destroyed a mobile home on Navy Road July 2.

NNSL photo/graphic

Inuvik volunteer firefighters survey the damage after a mobile home caught fire on Navy Road around 7:30 a.m. July 2. - Meagan Leonard/NNSL photo

Fire crews responded immediately after receiving a call around 7:30 a.m. from neighbours who witnessed smoke billowing from beneath the dwelling. Chief Jim Sawkins said the blaze was under control within the hour, but "the trailer was a writeoff," adding it is believed to have started in a crawlspace on the far side of the home.

"I believe a wire over time deteriorated in the vicinity of where an addition was joined to the original trailer," he said.

Peter Smith lives in one of the neighbouring trailers and said he had just woken up and was heading outside for a cigarette when he noticed something wasn't right.

"I noticed there was smoke coming out of the corner of the trailer so ... I went over to the house and banged on the door," he recalled.

Smith said he could not hear a smoke alarm inside the house and thinks he must have woken the occupants.

"When I talked to him afterwards he said he just got up and thought he smelled smoke and then he heard me knocking on the door."

Not soon after the structure was engulfed.

"No sooner than they had got out - maybe 15 minutes later - it just went up," he said. "Those trailers over there, once they get started

they go pretty quick."

Smith said he is grateful for the quick action of volunteer firefighters who were able to get the blaze under control before it spread to the surrounding homes.

"My wife was pretty nervous and a little bit scared too ... figuring it might come over toward us had it gone over across to our side of the utilidor. Our trailer too is very old and it would have gone up like that," he said. "(The fire fighters) did a really good job ... it was very bad but it could have been worse."

Sawkins is encouraging others in the neighbourhood with similar trailers to check for wiring that could be problematic.

"They might want to check to make sure that their wiring is not pinched in any, way, shape or form or exposed to any time of rubbing or chaffing or deterioration," he said.

The value of the property was unknown at press time.

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