Investigation into cause of houseboat fire on Yellowknife Bay continues

Ice break-up has limited scope of probe to interviews, photo analysis

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As the ice on Yellowknife Bay disappears, the territory’s fire marshal is exploring different investigative avenues to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a houseboat last week, sending one to hospital.

A blaze engulfed the houseboat, which once sat near the fish plant on Yellowknife Bay, not far from the Government Dock, in the early morning hours of May 15.

Two occupants escaped the fire. One of the individuals was treated for smoke inhalation at Stanton Territorial Hospital.

“Due to safety factors, such as unknown ice conditions, we were unable to conduct a detailed site examination,” a spokesperson for the NWT Office of the Fire Marshal told Yellowknifer Wednesday.

As a result, the scope of the probe has been limited to investigators interviewing the occupants and examining photos of the scene.

By 4:15 a.m., the fire, which sent thick black smoke into the air – visible from across town – reduced the houseboat to a pile of smoldering rubble.

The fire marshal’s investigation continues.