A home on the Ingraham Trail burned to the ground on Wednesday after an adjacent generator shed caught fire, the NWT’s fire marshal said.
Fire marshal Chucker Dewar said there were no reported injuries. The property, on kilometre 36 of the highway north of Yellowknife, was known to be occupied year-round.
“Early photographs and eyewitness reports suggest the fire originated in the power house,” said Dewar, referring to a small building housing the power generator for the off-grid home.
The house was understood to have belonged to a local business owner.
Dewar said it’s the latest of several similar incidents.
“This is one of several reported fires in power houses or generator sheds over this winter. We’d like to remind residents to be cautious,” he said.
“In this particular circumstance, the power house was adjacent to the residence on the property and the fire quickly spread from the power house to the main structure, igniting it and burning both structures to ground level.”
Dewar believes it’s “very unlikely” enough evidence will remain for investigators to determine what initially caused the fire.
Stressing the importance of adequate insurance, Dewar also urged residents on the trail to make sure generators are housed a sufficient distance from their home.
“If constructing a standalone structure, consider an adequate fire separation between the power house and the residence. Ten metres is recommended,” said Dewar. “When a structure is burning, it throws lots of embers and lots of heat.”
Ensuring there are no openings like windows or doors on the side of the power house facing the home or cabin is also a wise precaution, Dewar said.
He added generators themselves should be kept a safe distance from combustible materials.