Fire strikes Mildred Hall
Arson suspected

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

NNSL (Aug 26/98) - Arson is being blamed for a fire which caused $95,000 damage to Mildred Hall school early Tuesday morning.

Acting fire marshal Tim Hinds, on loan to Yellowknife for a week from Rankin Inlet, said the fire marshal's office and the Yellowknife fire department are still putting together their report on the incident.

"We called in the RCMP's Yellowknife forensic identification section and it has been determined the fire started exterior to the building," said Hinds.

"It was a set fire. There were more than one attempt to start fires around the building and this is the one that took and entered the school."

Deputy fire Chief Mike Lowing said the Yellowknife fire department responded to the alarm at about 5:20 a.m. with 18 firefighters in six units.

"The damage is being estimated at $75,000 to the building itself and another $20,000 in content damages," said Lowing

Ken Wooley, superintendent of education, said the school will be closed from 5 p.m. Tuesday until noon today.

He said the classroom damaged in the incident will be out of commission until about mid-September.

"This is really unfortunate because Room 108 was to be the homeroom of first-year teacher Jeff Slota," said Wooley.

"His Grade 2 class, about 30 students, will be affected by the fire. However, there is available space to relocate the kids within the school. "