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Fraser Tower Fire [UPDATED]

I was trying to think about how to write this story. I want to do it in a manner that isn’t offensive or overwhelming to anyone. That being said it is rather hard, as photos and video are raw. So, please, if you do not want to see the photos or video don’t look below. I hope everyone was safe and no person or animal was hurt. If you have any information of any fundraising efforts for those who lost anything because of this fire, send it to info@ykonline.ca and I will be sure to get the word out.

Mid afternoon black smoke could be seen from the top of the Coast Fraser Tower (Fraser Tower). When I arrived on scene a small bit of black smoke could be seen billowing from the roof of the building. Over the next hour or so the smoke increased and became blacker and thicker. At this point the fire department, which was on scene before I was, had done a basic search of the building of people, banging on door telling people to get out. There were also rumors floating around at that time that the fire was caused by a electrical problem, but at the same others said it was a gas fire. At the time of writing this neither CBC or NNSL has any information confirming or denying those.

As time went on I learned that there was no water service on the 14th floor of this building (the top floor) and firefighter were up there with only Fire Extinguishers. Apparently they did have the fire contained to its room of origin, though. As we were standing watching the event unfold, we heard over a near by radio that a Helicopter from Great Slave Helicopters was on its way with a dump bucket. It was said that they donated the time and fuel to help in the effort to put out the fire. It would have been a hard fire if there hadn’t of been a helicopters. Big thanks goes out to them.

Because of the effort from GSH and an amazing pilot the fire on the roof seemed to be out. No black smoke was coming from the top anymore and after 10-15 dumps the helicopter left. As the smoke died done she could see what was the roof. It was now completely charred. The sign that was once a polar bear, and then the coast logo was completely gone.

Links:

I will continue to update this post with link and photos from those who were at the location.

Fraser Town Fire Yellowknife - May 25

Fraser Town Fire Yellowknife - May 25

Fraser Town Fire Yellowknife - May 25

Fraser Town Fire Yellowknife - May 25

Fraser Town Fire Yellowknife - May 25

Fraser Town Fire Yellowknife - May 25

Fraser Town Fire Yellowknife - May 25

Fraser Town Fire Yellowknife - May 25

Fraser Town Fire Yellowknife - May 25

Fraser Town Fire Yellowknife - May 25

Fraser Town Fire Yellowknife - May 25

Fraser Town Fire Yellowknife - May 25

UPDATE: Here are some more photos and videos from around town, submitted by viewers.

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About the author

Kyle Thomas

Kyle grew up in Yellowknife and is a local entrepreneur, bread maker, and Yellowknife-ophile who is addicted to learning as much as he can about the community and sharing it with anyone who’ll listen. In 2009 he developed YkOnline.ca. A website all about living, working and thriving in Yellowknife for residents, newcomers, and visitors.

12 Comments

  • Thanks for the pics and news. I am thankful that everyone seems to be okay.

    As a former resident of YK, I like to check in on what's happening up there every now and again and I found YK Online quite by accident some time ago.

    The Fraser Tower was where I took swimming lessons way back when the only pool in the city was located there. Oh the many happy hours my friends and I spent in that pool!

  • It unfortunately shows how useless the fire department is when it comes to fighting fires more than a few stories high in Yellowknife. Thankfully the helicopters are around.

    • I love how your so quick to put down the Fire Department “Spectator”. I only wonder what you did to help out in all of this?…… Glad no-one was injured.

  • thank heaven no one was hurt. and thank heaven for the helicopter.

    I heard the Coast hotel staff did a great job of looking after everyone.

  • I love how your so quick to put down the Fire Department “Spectator”. I only wonder what you did to help out in all of this?…… Glad no-one was injured.

  • Spectator,

    While you watched from the safety of your armchair drinking your hot chocolate those guys did their best. Highrise buildings, especially an old one like Fraser Tower with old protection systems create tough situations. I see the YKFD is looking for Volunteers..maybe before you run your mouth you should try it for yourself.

  • A well put-together piece of information. As a former Yellowknifer, it saddens me to see a piece of YK history destroyed.

  • Ian MacDonald,

    I'm glad you seem keen on finding more Volunteers for the YKFD, but what I don't understand is how you can simply jump to attack someone who is just pointing out the obvious. I also think emergency services in YK are horrid at best, sure they may get there but it will probably be too late by then and all they can do is “Contain” the problem. Congrats to GSH for their quick thinking and support….as for the city of Yellowknife, Shame on you for allowing sub-par building codes as well as outdated safety systems.

  • What r u comparing Emergency services in YK to? Walk through any building in Canada and there is no responsibility to upgrade safety systems from the day in which they were built if there hasn't been any changes which involve use, structure etc. Why don't you post under your name instead of making bold statements behind your screen name. Maybe you should volunteer since you seem to have everything figured out?

  • that was not a tough situation for the FD, it was a no situation.
    where did you watch from ian? the safety of another roof? perhaps a street? coffee in hand no doubt.

  • that was not a tough situation for the FD, it was a no situation.
    where did you watch from ian? the safety of another roof? perhaps a street? coffee in hand no doubt.

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