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Nunavut Arctic College dorm room fire displaces 30 students, 5 classrooms

About 30 students living at Nunavut Arctic College’s Ukkivik Residence/North 40 Campus in Iqaluit have been displaced after a late-Friday fire in one room set off sprinklers that caused extensive damage to the building, spurring concerns about the health and safety of the building’s residents.

Extensive damage from sprinklers causes ceilings to cave, prompt fears about mold: dean

Sprinklers set off by a late-Friday fire inside Nunavut Arctic College's Ukkivik Residence - also known as North 40 Campus and Nunatta Campus - caused extensive damage to the building, the college says. (Patricia Bell/CBC )

Around 30 students living at Nunavut Arctic College's Ukkivik Residence/North 40 Campus in Iqaluit have been displaced after a late-Friday fire in one room set off sprinklers that caused extensive damage to the building, spurring concerns about the health and safety of the building's residents.

No students or staff were injured in the fire, which started at around 10:30 p.m., according to a release issued by the college Sunday afternoon.

But the dean of the college's Iqaluit campus told CBC on Sunday that the building — which is also used to deliver five programs — is in no condition to live or teach in.

Eric Corneau, the Iqaluit campus dean for Nunavut Arctic College. (CBC FILE PHOTO)

"There's a significant amount of water damage due to the sprinklers," said Eric Corneau. "Mould can start to build up fairly quickly. There's also some ceilings that caved in.

"We just want to make sure that the structure and everything is safe and sound. But I don't anticipate we'll be going back there before the end of the year."

Graduation shouldn't be affected: dean

Classes for five programs — teaching everything from interpretation and translation to fur production and design — will hopefully resume in other, as-yet-undetermined buildings before the end of the week, said Corneau.

"We're pretty confident that all the students that are registered in the programs are going to be able to proceed to graduation and finish off their courses," he said.

The students who had been living at Ukkivik have been moved to rooms at Iqaluit's Creekside Village residential complex.

Monday classes that had been scheduled to taker to take place at Ukkivik — also called the Nunatta Residence - have been cancelled, according to the release. College staff will be meeting Monday morning to discuss how the programs affected by the fire will be delivered for the rest of the academic year, which ends on June 4.

Iqaluit's deputy fire chief could not be reached for comment.

It was a busy weekend for the department: on Saturday night the department responded to a report of smoke coming from Building 4096. The deputy fire chief later said the smoke came from a cooking pot.   

In 2012, a fire destroyed a 22-unit townhouse complex in Iqaluit that housed mostly students from the college, leaving two people dead. 

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