Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit November 14, 2012 - 4:59 pm

Iqaluit jail hit by two fires Nov. 12, both apparently arson: GN

"Arson was involved in both cases"

Two fires appear to have been deliberately set Nov. 12 at Iqaluit's Baffin Correctional Centre. (FILE PHOTO)
Two fires appear to have been deliberately set Nov. 12 at Iqaluit's Baffin Correctional Centre. (FILE PHOTO)

Two fires, not one, were burning at the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit during the evening of Nov. 12, said a Government of Nunavut statement issued Nov. 14.

“It appears that arson was involved in both cases,” the GN said.

Originally the Iqaluit fire department and RCMP said that only one fire small occurred inside BCC.

Shortly after 10 p.m. fire crews responded to the fire at BCC, which had started in the ceiling of a washroom in a main dormitory area.

Correctional staff then moved some inmates to a “safe area” — the correctional centre’s gymnasium.

That’s where another fired started while fire crews grappled with the first one.

Fire fighters quickly put out the second fire.

While firefighters worked in the gym, all inmates were evacuated from the building, according to BCC’s “fire evacuation contingency plans,” and placed into “secure custody outside of the building” in “various locations,” the GN said.

After all emergency responders left at about 2:30 a.m., inmates were allowed to return to their cells.

The GN did not say how many inmates were involved in the evacuation.

The GN’s corrections division, as well as the Iqaluit RCMP and the office of the fire marshal continue to investigate the fire said the GN’s statement, which repeated the message that all inmates and staff are now safe and no one was injured.

“The Director of Corrections would like to acknowledge and thank every person who provided assistance in this situation,” the GN said. “The spirit of cooperation between all agencies involved resulted in no loss of life.” 

Iqaluit is slated to receive a multi-million dollar temporary jail in Iqaluit, which could cost upwards of $15 million, to relieve overcrowding at BCC.

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