Sheriff vehicle fire likely started in engine: fire marshal

The Northwest Territories fire marshal says a fire that destroyed a sheriff’s vehicle earlier this week likely started in the engine.

On Monday morning, firefighters extinguished the vehicle fire in the parking lot outside of Yellowknife’s courthouse. According to the City of Yellowknife, they arrived on scene at 8:48am to find the engine compartment of the vehicle ablaze, and quickly brought the fire under control.

The vehicle and its contents were destroyed by the fire and there was minor smoke and heat damage to the exterior of the courthouse. The vehicle was empty at the time and no injuries have been reported.


The Office of the Fire Marshal said its initial investigation suggests the fire started in the vehicle’s engine after it was plugged in overnight. It is reminding residents to complete routine maintenance on their vehicles and to inspect extension cords for wear and tear.

The NWT fire marshal has previously told Cabin Radio vehicle fires are common in the winter when people plug in their vehicles and conditions are hard on equipment.

The RCMP has said Monday’s vehicle fire is not considered suspicious in nature.

Firefighters respond to the vehicle fire in the parking lot outside the courthouse. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

Court appearances set for Monday were rescheduled after the sheriff’s office evacuated the courthouse due to smoke.


NWT Supreme Court Justice Shannon Smallwood told jury members on Tuesday morning that the air quality inside the building had been tested to confirm it was safe. She said air filters had been running and there was a noticeable improvement in the smell.