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Peter Pitseolak High School destroyed by fire

07 September 2015 

Statement

Peter Pitseolak High School destroyed by fire

September 7, 2015

Cape Dorset, NU

Shortly after 1:30 a.m. on September 6, 2015, the Cape Dorset Fire Department was called to the scene of a fire at the Peter Pitseolak High School. The fire burned through the night and the school was completely destroyed.

The cause of the fire has not been determined. The site is secured and the investigation can proceed once all hot spots are extinguished. The Department of Community and Government Services (CGS) is assessing damages to determine replacement costs, as well as working on plans to restore IT infrastructure that was housed in the school.

As a result of the fire, all data communications for the GN, both within the community and to/from the community, are off-line until further notice. Services impacted are Internet access, email and voice conferencing. CGS has determined the health centre as an alternate location for the new telecommunications equipment.

Neighbouring houses as well as the local health centre were evacuated. Health centre patients, who were temporarily moved into Sam Pudlat School, have since returned to the health centre, and residents have returned to their homes. No loss of life or injuries are reported.

Power was restored to the community after an outage that lasted approximately one hour. At this time, the hamlet office and B&B are still without power. A Qulliq Energy Corporation crew will arrive in Cape Dorset this afternoon to restore power to these two facilities. Power should be restored by tonight.

Regional and school officials are working on a plan to accommodate approximately 170 grade 7 to 12 students, and resume classes as soon as possible. The Department of Education will provide an update Monday evening.

The Government of Nunavut would like to acknowledge and thank every person who provided assistance, in particular the Cape Dorset Fire Department and other first responders. This is a great loss for the residents of Cape Dorset, as well as the students and teachers of Peter Pitseolak High School.

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Media Contacts:

Hillary Casey
Communications Officer
Department of Community and Government Services
867-975-5342
hcasey@gov.nu.ca

Wende Halonen
Manager of Communications
Department of Education, Community and Government Services
867-975-5667
whalonenEDU2@gov.nu.ca