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Person who reported Fitzgerald Carpeting fire called 911 in error

The person who reported the fire that destroyed Fitzgerald Carpeting on Sunday night first called 911 in error before driving to the fire hall in person.

That’s according to the City of Yellowknife, which released more information about the fire Monday afternoon.

City officials say firefighters first became aware of the blaze at 304 Woolgar Avenue around 10:00pm.

Read: Supreme Court of Canada Dismisses Bell’s 911 Challenge

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After someone used a fire extinguisher on the flames, they dialed 911 – a service the NWT doesn’t have – before driving to the fire hall to alert first responders in person.

By the time firefighters arrived at the scene, heavy black smoke was already pouring out of the building.

Fire crews began an initial attack, but were forced to retreat from the building and begin an exterior attack once flames breached the roof.

“The local fire department chose to take a defensive posture with this fire due to the advanced stage of it upon their arrival,” said Chucker Dewar, fire marshal for the Northwest Territories.

“There was a lot of combustibles, a lot of textiles, carpets, glues and adhesives.

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“The defensive posture that they took protected the neighbouring structures and thankfully neighbouring buildings didn’t receive any damage as a result of the fire.”

Firefighters worked hard to contain the blaze to the building well into Monday morning. By noon, only a small crew remained at the site.

A total of 29 fire service personnel responded to the fire alongside municipal enforcement officers and police. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

“We’re conducting interviews of staff and witnesses and reviewing information provided by the fire department as well,” said Dewar.

“We have not determined the cause and origin of the fire at this particular time.”

In recent years, there have been numerous calls to implement a 911 service in the Northwest Territories.

Much of Canada’s three territories are without the service, meaning residents have to dial a seven-digit number in the event of an emergency.

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