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Jim Sawkins out as Inuvik fire chief, town says

After allegations surfaced surrounding Inuvik, N.W.T., Fire Chief Jim Sawkins' leadership last year, he is no longer with the town, according to an announcement on the town Facebook page.

Town of Inuvik posts announcement to Facebook, neither mayor nor SAO would comment

Jim Sawkins is now no longer Fire Chief of Inuvik, according to the town. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

Jim Sawkins is no longer fire chief in Inuvik.

The town notified the public of his departure in a brief message posted to its Facebook page late Friday, as the last item in a staffing announcement.

The brief notice offered no information about why Sawkins was no longer director of protective services with the municipality, or employed by the town in another capacity.

CBC reported in November that some previous and current firefighters had filed complaints with the town about Sawkins.

At the time, two firefighters confirmed they had resigned earlier that year because of Sawkins' leadership as fire chief, a position he had held since 2011.

Inuvik Mayor Jim McDonald said at the time that the town was investigating the allegations.

One of the firefighters who quit did so in October 2017 shortly after a fire destroyed a home in Inuvik. The house burned to the ground hours after the fire department had initially responded to a fire a the home, fought it and then declared an all-clear.

An investigation by the N.W.T. fire marshal concluded there wasn't enough physical evidence remaining at the scene to determine why the fire reignited.

By the time of the fire marshal's investigation, Sawkins was already on leave. He had gone on medical leave in November, but by Dec. 19  town senior administrator Grant Hood said Sawkins' leave was no longer classified as medical, but without elaborating.

Neither McDonald nor Hood would say whether Sawkins had resigned or was fired, saying instead it was a confidential internal matter.

With files from Mackenzie Scott

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