Yellowknife remembers fallen firefighters 11 years after fire

Kevin Olson, left, and Cyril Fyfe
Kevin Olson, left, and Lt. Cyril Fyfe.
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Flags at Yellowknife facilities were lowered Thursday to remember the lives of two firefighters who died in the line of duty 11 years ago.

Kevin Olson, who was 24, died exactly 11 years ago today – on March 17, 2005 – while fighting a fire in the saw shed of the Home Building Centre on Old Airport Road.

In full: Investigation report into deadly 2005 fire (pdf)

Lt. Cyril Fyfe, 41, died a few days later in hospital after being gravely injured when the building’s roof collapsed with him and Olson inside.

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Four firefighters on the roof survived the collapse – but Fyfe and Olson were killed. An improperly installed space heater was to blame for the fire.

Fyfe had served for nearly 18 years with the Yellowknife Fire Division. Olson, by contrast, had not completed his second week on the job and was fighting his first fire.

Every year since the blaze, Yellowknife has hosted a commemorative hockey game known as the Memorial Hockey Challenge in their honour.

The game, played between RCMP officers and firefighters, also remembers the life of RCMP Cst. Christopher Worden, who was killed in the line of duty in Hay River nine years ago.

This year’s game will be played on Sunday, April 24 at Yellowknife’s Ed Jeske Arena.

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