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Nunavut Arctic College thanks Iqaluit firefighters

Staff and students from Nunavut Arctic College gave the Iqaluit fire department 15 pairs of handmade mittens as a gesture of thanks for their efforts at the Feb. 26 Creekside Village fire.

Staff and students affected by townhouse fire give 15 pairs of handmade mittens

Nunavut Arctic College staff present a gift of handmade mittens to the fire department. The gift was a token of thanks to the firefighters who worked to put out the flames at a townhouse where mostly NAC students and their families lived. (Paul Moore/CBC)

Staff and students from Nunavut Arctic College gave the Iqaluit fire department 15 pairs of handmade mittens Tuesday night as a gesture of thanks for their efforts at the Creekside Village fire.

Two people died in the Feb. 26 fire that destroyed the 22-unit townhouse complex. It housed mostly Nunavut Arctic College students and their relatives.

Firefighters at the scene faced a windchill which made the temperature feel like –50C, and some of the water they sprayed at the fire froze on contact with the air.

Susan Enuaraq, a teacher at the college, said six people in her class lost their homes in the fire. She added that working on the mitts helped everyone heal, and the firefighters deserve the gift.

"Most of them are volunteers and I think sometimes they feel it's a thankless job, but it's a much-needed service in our community," she said.

Student Christine Ekidlak lived in one of the apartments which burned to the ground.

"It's just to say a little thank you to them for the great work they do," she said.

Barry Rogers, Iqaluit's acting deputy fire chief, said the department appreciated the gesture.

"It touches our hearts for sure," he said. "We don't see that too often. So it's very much appreciated."

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