Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

CHARRED AFTERMATH – Fire seriously damaged the Ryder Apartment building at Sixth Avenue and Lambert Street last Friday night. A 20-year-old man faces numerous charges.

Residents return to fire-stricken building

A 20-year-old Inuvik, N.W.T. man is facing more charges in relation to the fire at the Ryder Apartment last Friday night.

By Tim Giilck on January 13, 2021

A 20-year-old Inuvik, N.W.T. man is facing more charges in relation to the fire at the Ryder Apartment last Friday night.

Whitehorse RCMP say Zander Firth is now charged with:

• three counts of arson causing bodily harm;

• three counts of breaching conditions of a release order;

• one count of breaching conditions of a probation order;

• one count of breaching a no-contact order;

• one count of arson causing damage to property; and

• one count of arson knowing that the property is occupied.

The fire broke out at approximately 10:30 p.m.

The building is owned by the Yukon Housing Corp., which put the tenants of the 23 occupied units up in temporary quarters at a local hotel.

On Monday, many of those tenants were able to move back into their units.

Three people were hospitalized. One is reported to be in critical condition. The investigation is ongoing.

Sarah Murray, a spokesperson for the corporation, was able to provide some more information to the Star late Monday afternoon.

“Our priority is making sure that the tenants who were affected have a safe place to stay alongside support services after such a traumatic event,” she said.

“With assistance from the Department of Health and Social Services, we were able to temporarily house our tenants safely in a local hotel and ensure that people affected had access to necessities like food, medication and clean clothing as well as access to mental health supports.”

“Today, Monday, Jan. 11, we are able to move the majority of the residents back in to Ryder Apartments,” Murray said.

“For tenants whose homes are unsafe to return to, we will continue to provide longer-term temporary housing until we can relocate them to another apartment.”

Several people are organizing fundraisers and offering other assistance to the building’s residents over Facebook.

Comments (4)

Up 16 Down 4

Bandit on Jan 14, 2021 at 9:16 am

@ My Opinion,
I don't think they are coming here for an Education, besides that, they already have their own University up there... It's the University of Tuktoyaktuk "TUK U"

Up 25 Down 3

Jackie123 on Jan 13, 2021 at 6:51 pm

@My Opinion. The Yukon's broad and generous social programs are attracting a lot of people from NWT and BC that contribute nothing to our community: social housing; free meals, entertainment and beds at the Centre of Hope; revolving doors at our modern hospital and luxurious jail; etc. I am not opposed to people moving to Whitehorse, but we don't need to import a bunch of freeloaders and criminals - we already have enough.

Up 17 Down 1

Nathan Living on Jan 13, 2021 at 6:17 pm

A 9 month sentence and out in 3 months due to our lenient court system?

Up 32 Down 7

My Opinion on Jan 13, 2021 at 2:19 pm

Why are all these NWT people here to begin with? Many crimes lately have included people from NWT. Thought the border was closed.
Maybe it is our University.

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