At least four separate fundraising campaigns have been launched to help families and Elders in Inuvik affected by a fire on Wolverine Road early on Saturday.
Multiple homes were said to have been destroyed in the fire, the cause of which is not yet known. Interviews are ongoing to help determine what happened.
Residents were being asked to avoid the area if possible, though those who live in unaffected homes were allowed to return later on Saturday.
Several people were reported to be hurt. On Sunday afternoon, Inuvik fire chief Cynthia Hammond said the occupants of the first home to catch fire had “escaped and sought medical attention for burns and smoke inhalation.”
Hammond, providing more detail about the initial response to the fire, said it had been brought under control by 5:35am on Saturday. Two homes were destroyed.
Fourteen firefighters were required at the scene. “Community members generously brought food and drink throughout the operation,” said Hammond.
“Sending my condolences to those families who are no doubt in shock after losing their homes, and those who were displaced,” Mayor Natasha Kulikowski posted online on Saturday evening.
Kulikowski shared four separate online fundraisers started in the wake of the fire.
A fundraiser for Alison, Tony, Emerson, and Elina Stefure had raised almost $20,000 as of 8:30am on Sunday. The family “lost their home, vehicles, and all worldly belongings” in the fire.
More than $11,000 had been raised for Chris and Tanya Dillon and their family, who also reportedly lost of all their possessions. “Every little amount will help this beautiful family,” wrote Lisa Beattie, organizer of that GoFundMe.
A third fundraising page was set up for Roberta Dillon and Marlon McKay, whose home is said to have smoke and water damage.
Meanwhile, Erin Sydney said in a fourth GoFundMe that Elders David Jorstead and Martha Ruben had been pushed from their homes by the damage.
“They will need funds for accommodation and living expenses for the next little while until they can get back on their feet,” Sydney wrote.
“As most of you know, David might not ask for assistance so we need to make sure as a community that one of our own is taken care of.”