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Fire breaks out at Iqaluit fuel tank area

Investigators in Iqaluit are looking into a fire that broke out at the Iqaluit fuel storage area over the weekend.
The fire at the Iqaluit fuel tank farm was extinguished in about 10 minutes on Saturday morning. (CBC)

Investigators in Iqaluit are looking into a fire that broke out at the Iqaluit fuel storage area over the weekend.

Firefighters were called around 7:20 a.m. ET on Saturday to the tank farm, where a thick cloud of black smoke was seen rising from one of the large white fuel tanks on site.

The fire was put out in less than 10 minutes.

Officials say workers were cleaning up a mix of water and residual jet fuel in Tank 14 when it caught fire. The flames spread outside through open ventilators to drums of waste fuel outside the tank.

Tank 14 was empty at the time, but at least one of the tanks next to it was full of fuel, said fire Chief Chris Wilson.

"There's always potential … for anything to be serious," Wilson said shortly after the fire took place.

"Every fire is serious, but at this point in time this was a relatively small incident compared to what it could've been."

RCMP say the blaze was likely caused by vapours that ignited by accident, but they would not confirm the cause until their investigation is complete.

One worker was slightly injured and treated at the scene, while another worker was not harmed.

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