Fitzgerald Carpeting 'contained a large fire load,' says fire marshal

N.W.T. fire marshal Chucker Dewar said that a Sunday evening fire at Fitzgerald Carpeting in Yellowknife quickly advanced due to the building containing a 'large fire load,' including carpets, textiles, and glues.

No one injured, buildings surrounding the fire saved by firefighters

Fire crews were still fighting a fire that destroyed Fitzgerald Carpeting in Yellowknife Monday morning. The fire started Sunday evening. (Mitch Wiles/CBC)

A fire destroyed Fitzgerald Carpeting at 304 Woolgar Ave. in Yellowknife on Sunday night.

The business, which sells and installs flooring, has been in the community for over 35 years. An apartment suite in the top floor of the building was also destroyed.
Fire marshal Chucker Dewar said that the building's flammable contents, which included carpeting, textiles, and glues, likely contributed to the fire's quick escalation Sunday night. (Mitch Wiles/CBC)

Chucker Dewar, fire marshal for the Northwest Territories, says he believes the fire started at about 10 p.m. Sunday night. Nobody was injured, and the buildings surrounding the fire were saved by local firefighters.

"This building contained a large fire load," said Dewar. "It contained carpeting, textiles, and lots of glues. Things that are very flammable.

"So, in fires such as that, we expect rapid fire spread and growth. That's probably why the fire was in such an advanced stage when the fire department got on scene."

Firefighters were still on the scene Monday morning as the fire continued to burn. Dewar says his office is currently interviewing staff and owners of Fitzgerald Carpeting in an attempt to determine what caused the fire. 

The fire tore through Fitzgerald Carpeting, which has operated in Yellowknife for 35 years, at about 10 p.m. Sunday night. (Kevin Woldum/CBC)

"There is currently a  backhoe on the scene stripping away sections of the building," Dewar said Monday morning. "They are trying to protect the area of origin where they think the fire may have started, but there is fire that has entered concealed spaces on the building which presents some challenges to the fire department."

Mary-Ellen Savard, the co-owner of Fitzgerald Carpeting, said the business had no comment at this time other than to confirm that there were no injuries in the fire.