CANADA - Power Station Destroyed by Fire in Nunavut Hamlet : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

[Fair Use: For Education and Research Purpose Only] Last updated: Tuesday 2 May 2000 NATIONAL NEWS

Title: Lights Back on in Nunavut Hamlet after Power Station Destroyed

SANIKILUAQ, Nunavut (CP) - Residents of this remote northern community were drifting home Tuesday after a fire that destroyed their power station forced nearly half of them to spend the night in the local school.

"Every family got a classroom," said Brian Fleming, senior administrative officer in Sanikiluaq, on the northern end of Belcher Island in Hudson Bay about 1,200 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

The fire began about 1:30 a.m. on Monday. It burned for about two hours before being extinguished, but that was enough to gut the building.

"There is nothing inside," said social worker Martin Mathews. "It all melted."

The generator supplied power to nearly every building in town. Some people were able to heat their homes with wood fires. About 250 people out of the population of 630 went to the school because it has its own backup generator.

"The kids were just running around outside (the classrooms)," said Mathews. "They enjoyed it a little bit, I think."

Temperatures still dip as low as -8 C at night, Mathews said.

A small generator was flown in from Iqaluit Monday afternoon. That was used to restore power to the airport, which enabled a Hercules airplane to land a larger generator at about 2 a.m. on Tuesday.

A third generator is on route from Winnipeg, which will restore full power until a new power station can be built.

"We've pretty much got power restored to all residences," said Fleming. "People are getting their houses warmed back up and are getting back into their houses."

The power station's transformers were not damaged in the fire. They are being used with the temporary generators.

No cause for the fire or cost of the incident has been established.


-- (, May 02, 2000

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