Most of the fires in Iqaluit in 2012 were suspicious in origin, says the city’s fire chief.

Luc Grandmaison, fire chief and director of emergency and protective services in Iqaluit, presented his annual report to city council this week. Grandmaison took over as fire chief last July.

The report says in 2012, there were 46 fires in the city, and two deaths. Fire damages were estimated at $9.2 million.

Most of the fires occurred in apartment-style units and happened between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m.

"Most of our fires are suspicious in nature," said Grandmaison.

He said public education is a big part of fire prevention.

"We want to educate them to act quickly to fire, report them, get out," he said.

"I think a material house is not important when it comes to your injuries or even death."

The Iqaluit Fire Department, which has 16 full-time firefighters and about the same number of volunteers, has had a busy year with regular calls, averaging almost one a week.

The fire chief says because there are more calls, three new positions are being added to the team.