One female Iqaluit youth has been charged after a series of fires earlier this week in the Nunavut capital, including one that damaged the city's largest store.
The 17-year-old accused, who can’t be identified because of her age, is facing charges of arson and disregard for human life. She is due to appear in court on Nov. 13.
RCMP said a second youth was also in custody, but has since been released without being charged.
On Thursday, officers responded to six fires over the span of six hours between late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. No injuries were reported in any of the fires.
Among the series of fires were four vehicle fires and one garbage fire near an uninhabited residence.
But the largest one ended up destroying most of the Northmart building, the largest store in the city. That fire was first noticed by patrolling RCMP officers who saw the smoke at around 1:40 a.m.
This fire is particularly devastating to the community as the store offered everything from clothes to furniture to snowmobiles and even acted as a community hub for patrons to eat or sit for a coffee.
Residents have expressed concerns over food supplies. Iqaluit has no road connection and depends heavily on shipments brought in by air and barge.
If necessary, the territorial government said it would make storage space available for food. The Nunavut government also said it would ensure residents still had access to medical prescriptions.
With files from The Canadian Press