The Fire Marshal for the Northwest Territories is warning northerners to be careful, especially as temperatures drop.

A family in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., continues to assess damage to their home, which caught fire earlier this month.  

One of Jerry Lennie’s relatives was using a heating gun to thaw frozen pipes. A spark from the gun caused the log cabin to catch fire.

The house was badly damaged.

Lennie was out of town when he learned about the blaze. He said he's lucky his home is still standing, but said it's not safe to move back in.

"The main electrical line from the pole to the meter and from the meter the switch boxes runs along the house and that's what melted," he said.

Steve Moss, the N.W.T.'s Fire Marshal, said accidents such this are common, but also preventable.

"A lot of people tend to use inappropriate heat sources to thaw pipes and rewarm their home after things freeze. When you’re thawing, look at where you are thawing and combustible products around there and have a way of protecting them. You should also have a way to cool things down after," he said.

Moss said it's also important to regularly clean chimneys and keep a close eye on candles and wood stoves.

Lennie is staying with family until he can rebuild his cabin.

"Thank God I have another house I can turn to," he said.