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A shorted-out electrical cord likely started a blaze that destroyed a 50A Avenue home on June 14, says the territory’s fire marshal.

“An electrical cord at the rear of the structure that provided power to a detached shed is highly suspected of being responsible for igniting the fire,” Chucker Dewar, NWT fire marshal, told NNSL Media.

No one was injured in the incident. The fire caused an estimated $1 million in damages to the structure, belongings and surrounding land, said Dewar.

A shorted electrical cord is likely behind a devastating 50A Avenue blaze that gutted the home of a young family on June 14.
Brendan Burke/NNSL photo.

The electrical cord was not designed to be used as a permanent power supply and wasn’t certified for outdoor use, the Office of the Fire Marshal’s investigation concluded.

“It’s suspected that the electrical cord’s sheathing eventually deteriorated with exposure to elements, particularly the sun; shorting out and igniting the fire,” said Dewar.

The blaze originated behind the house before spreading rapidly throughout the now-gutted residence, the probe determined. Witness statements, photos and videos were among the evidence gathered in the now-concluded investigation.

The fire marshal is reminding residents to make sure electrical components are applied to the intended, designed purpose. Electrical cords are not permitted to be used as permanent power supplies, he said.

“Please follow manufacturer’s recommendations, ensure electrical components have a standards seal such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and use a professional electrician to ensure components are approved and installed as required,” said Dewar.

The June 14 fire displaced a young family of three.

It took Yellowknifers mere hours to rally behind the family, digging deep into their pockets to provide financial relief for the devastated victims.

An online fundraiser has since raised nearly $40,000, far surpassing an initial $5,000 goal.

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Brendan Burke

As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility...

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