Klondike River Lodge fire deemed not suspicious
While the actual cause of the fire that destroyed the Klondike River Lodge on Dec. 30 has not been determined, the official word is that the blaze is no longer deemed to be suspicious in nature.
BEFORE AND AFTER – The Klondike River Lodge is seen above before the Dec. 30 fire. Below: the tire garage is seen south of the destroyed lodge, with the oil tanks behind it, as well as the gas pumps. Photo courtesy GOVERNMENT OF YUKON
DAWSON CITY – While the actual cause of the fire that destroyed the Klondike River Lodge on Dec. 30 has not been determined, the official word is that the blaze is no longer deemed to be suspicious in nature.
“The investigation that was concluded by the RCMP, the Yukon Fire Marshall’s office, the local fire departments, as well as the investigation carried out by the insurance company investigator, have concluded that (the fire) is not suspicious: however, the cause will go down as undetermined,” said Jim Regimbal, Dawson’s fire chief.
“It’s pointing towards electrical, but we can’t say 100 per cent.”
Fire crews from both Dawson and the Klondike Valley responded to the blaze after a call from a Department of Highways and Public Works employee reached Regimbal just after 8:00 that morning.
By the time volunteers from both detachments arrived at the scene, all that could be done was to keep the blaze from spreading to other buildings.
The fire had been burning for hours by then.
Pete Hart, a local trapper, reports that he saw the fire blazing at about 2:30 a.m. Dec. 30, but had no way to report it.
Hart further said he’d been seeing lights in the building on and off ever since it was shut down for the winter back in September 2012.
Regimbal said it was found the power had been on since the building was boarded up for the winter in order to maintain the telephone line.
There were also some renovations going on sporadically inside the building and the power may have been on for that purpose as well.
Regimbal said there was some arcing in the electrical wiring inside the building, indicating very high temperatures, but the arcing took place as a result of the fire, rather than causing it.
The flames destroyed the main building, including the rooms, convenience store and restaurant.
The staff housing, tire garage, oil tanks and pumps were not damaged.
The lodge is owned by a Northwest Territories resident.