The Inuvik Fire Department is encouraging residents to teach their children about fire safety after two youth were found responsible for a small fire at the town’s McCauley Apartments on Thursday morning.
Fire crews were called to the site at around 7am on Thursday following reports of the fire. Tenants were already evacuating. According to a news release shared on the town website, witnesses at the scene reported seeing two children underneath the building.
The fire was extinguished within minutes of the department’s arrival. No injuries from the incident were reported.
Police at the scene located two youth – each under the age of 12 – who allegedly started the fire.
“Investigation and actions are being undertaken with the children and their parents,” the news release read.
Officials said a second fire near Twin Lakes was extinguished by RCMP an hour and a half later.
The news release continued: “Both Inuvik Fire and the RCMP are concerned about these events. The fire under the apartment building put the tenants at serious risk to health and life, in addition to damaging property. The consequences could have been much more tragic.
“It should be noted that several groups of children were observed to be in the area, not only at the time of the fire, but throughout the night and early morning. We recognize that while mostly innocent, groups of children may also create a situation where peer pressure affects a child’s ability to make safe decisions.”
Caregivers are asked to “speak to their children about the dangers of fire” and ensure matches and lighters are kept out of reach.