Townhouse condo building destroyed in Yellowknife fire

Most of a townhouse block has been destroyed and the buildings on either side were damaged in a fire Monday, on Yellowknife's Ward Crescent, near Walmart.

Resident lost all her clothing in the blaze, has 'no place to sleep tonight'

A woman housesitting one of the Ward Crescent townhouses is comforted by friends as firefighters work behind her on a Monday morning fire at Ward Crescent that has totalled at least one unit in the building. (Mitch Wiles/CBC)


  • This story was updated June 27 to clarify the extent of the damage from the fire.

A fire at Yellowknife's Ward Crescent on Monday destroyed most of a three-unit townhouse building and damaged two others.

Officials say they believe everyone made it out of the buildings safely.

The fire began at the Diamond Park townhouse condominiums, near Walmart, late Monday morning. Black smoke was visible over Yellowknife's Frame Lake shortly after 11 a.m. By 11:30 a.m., flames had made their way through the roof of the building.

Officials say two of the three townhouse units in the building were destroyed. The third townhouse in that block, and the buildings on either side, were damaged in the fire.

'What I own is what I'm wearing'

Carolyn Dainard's home was one of the townhouses in the building that caught on fire. She was alerted to the fire through a text message from her husband, who was at home waiting for a carpet cleaner to arrive.

She told CBC that after realizing what was going on, her husband grabbed their dog and ran. 

"I'm in a fog right now," she said from across the street, as firefighters battled behind her. "I don't even know what's happening.

"Got no place to sleep tonight. I've got no idea what's going on."

Carolyn Dainard stands across the street as firefighters battle a blaze at her home. Dainard says much of her family's things were packed in a vehicle before a planned weekend trip, but all of her clothes were lost in the fire: 'what I own is what I'm wearing.' (Mitch Wiles/CBC)

Dainard said she and her husband had packed up their vehicle the night before, preparing for a planned move to Edmonton this weekend. That allowed for some of her family's things to be spared from the fire.

However, she lost her computer in the blaze, as well as all of her clothes. 

"What I own is what I'm wearing," she said.

A crowd gathers across the street as firefighters battle a fire Monday morning on Ward Crescent, in the Borden Drive area. (Mitch Wiles/CBC)

By late Monday morning, a crowd had gathered across the street from the burning building as firefighters continued to battle the fire. One woman told CBC she was housesitting at one of the units that was on fire, and feared the dog was still inside — while a man on the scene said he rescued a woman from a second-storey bedroom as the flames began to spread.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

With files from Marilyn Robak, Mitch Wiles