Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit November 13, 2012 - 4:14 pm

Nov. 12 fire at Iqaluit jail “suspicious,” RCMP says

No one injured, but police continue to investigate

DAVID MURPHY
No signs of the Nov. 12 evening fire at the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit are visible from the outside Nov. 13. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)
No signs of the Nov. 12 evening fire at the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit are visible from the outside Nov. 13. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)

A “suspicious” fire at the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit late in evening of Nov. 12 put more than a dozen prisoners out in the cold.

Twelve members Iqaluit fire department responded to a fire alarm at BCC at about 10:30 p.m., Iqaluit fire chief Luc Grandmaison said.

The fire department left two hours later after fire had been completely contained.

“Damage is minimal. And nobody got injured,” Grandmaison said, adding that it was a “small fire.”

Iqaluit RCMP and RCMP fire investigators, along with the office of the Nunavut fire marshall, are still investigating the fire, described as “suspicious” in a Nov. 13 RCMP news release.

Police also praised the work of the Iqaluit fire department.

“Due to the quick actions of the Baffin Correctional Centre officers and firefighters, the fire was isolated and damage was minimal,” the news release said.

The fire forced some prisoners outside in an evacuation, but “the majority of inmates have reoccupied the facility,” police said.

In October 2011, a fire broke out after three inmates set fire to linens in their cells.

That spawned an angry letter to the editor published in Nunatsiaq News from former Nunavut fire marshal Tony Noakes Jr.

Noakes said “the safety of the inmates and the general public would be at risk if a fire or a riot took place”  at BCC.

“There is no facility in Iqaluit to securely place prisoners if BCC is consumed by fire.”

Police are asking people who have information about the fire to contact their local RCMP detachment or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477.

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