Sleepy tenant flees burning bed
Electric blanket causes house fire

Jeff Colbourne
Northern News Services

NNSL (Aug 21/98) - A faulty electric blanket is said to have caused $100,000 in fire damage to a home on Latham Island in the city's Old Town early Thursday morning.

Acting fire marshall Wolf Dautel, picking through charred rumble in a bedroom in the 40A Otto Drive duplex came to the conclusion yesterday.

No one was hurt.

A female tenant sleeping in her bedroom on the bottom floor was awakened by fire burning in and around her bed.

"She awoke to find her bedding and room on fire. And there's a fine line between living through something like that and dying. She was able to stay on the living line," said deputy fire chief Mike Lowing.

"It was pretty amazing that she did considering that the smoke alarms were not operational. She was very lucky."

Five people were living in the apartment but only two were inside when the fire broke out. A man was sleeping on the second floor and got out safely.

The building, which is up for sale, is owned by former Iqaluit MLA and past government leader Dennis Patterson.

The fire department was alerted to the fire at 5:19 a.m. Thursday. Upon arrival, flames were billowing from a bedroom window.

An aerial ladder was used to reach the house which is on stilts. Once the exterior flames were knocked down with the water tower nozzle, fire crews moved inside and extinguished the blaze taking nearly two hours to remove burned wood siding and drywalling to expose possible hot spots.