Canadian North sues Iqaluit businesses over 2007 cargo fire

Canadian North is suing South Baffin Holdings and Narwhal Plumbing and Heating for $2.8 million, saying the two companies are to blame for a malfunctioning furnace that caused its Iqaluit cargo warehouse to burn to the ground in 2007.
Fire trucks blocked road access to the Iqaluit airport for about 12 hours Saturday, March 10, as a fire destroyed Canadian North's cargo warehouse. (Patrick Nagle/CBC)

On March 10, 2007, a fire destroyed Canadian North’s cargo warehouse near the Iqaluit airport.

No one was hurt in the fire, but the company suffered substantial loss.

Now Canadian North is suing South Baffin Holdings and Narwhal Plumbing and Heating for over $2.8 million.

In court documents, the airline alleges the fire was caused by a malfunctioning furnace.

It blames the two companies who performed various service calls, inspections and did work on the fuel oil furnace in the two years before the fire.

The lawsuit says the companies were negligent and in breach of their contracts.

South Baffin Holdings denies all of the allegations.

It says Canadian North failed to have a proper alarm and fire suppression systems, and that the airline left flammable materials near the furnace.

It also says the pump used to deliver oil to the furnace was defective and caused the fire.

The other defendant, Narwhal Plumbing and Heating, blames both Canadian North and South Baffin Holdings.

It says the airline didn't take proper precautions, and alleges South Baffin performed work it was neither qualified or authorized to do.

Seven third parties are also involved in the case.

The civil lawsuit will be heard in March.

Ten days have been set aside for the trial, over which Justice Earl Johnson will preside.