A fire that destroyed an older trailer home in Hay River on April 4 injured a small child who was flown to Edmonton for treatment.
Sources close to The Hub say the young girl, around one year of age, was flown to Yellowknife and then on to Edmonton once weather cleared up the day after the fire. The child sustained burns from a smouldering electrical fire that ultimately gutted the entire home.
The three females who were in the house escaped before the building became engulfed in flames.
The fire at 25 Elm St. began in the early evening, sometime after 6 p.m., said Hay River Fire Chief Ross Potter.
The fire department received a call around 7:15 p.m. and fire crews were dispatched immediately.
“The house was well involved by the time we got there,” said Potter. “It’s an old trailer and they are typically built with highly flammable material. A fire can go from one end of a trailer to the other in just seconds.”
The fire, determined to have been accidental, began in a bedroom and was discovered by a family friend who had stopped by for a visit.
There were 18 firefighters rotating to battle the blaze until 11 p.m. and were checking for flare-ups until 3 a.m. on April 5.
No other properties were damaged as the fire was contained to the one building. Following the fire, the trailer itself is still standing and the roof is intact.
There is currently a collection being taken up for the young family, and a potential benefit being organized for the near future. All cash donations are being collected by staff at CanArctic Graphics and the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC). Material donations for the family will be stored at the NTPC warehouse.
It is not yet known if the family has home insurance.
“They’ve got nothing left in the trailer,” said Potter. “Everything is damaged from heat and smoke.”
The fire chief noted the home had working smoke detectors, which he stressed are invaluable and are the first line of defence in case of fire.
This is the third large fire in Hay River so far this year, he said.
Potter advised that homeowners phone the fire department as soon as they can in case of fire. “You can make an attempt to put it out, but any possibility of being trapped is not worth it to save a home. Let it go. It can be replaced.”
— Angele Cano