There was a major fire at the Northmart store in Iqaluit.
The mayor of Iqaluit is telling residents not “to panic” after a fire ripped through its biggest grocery store.
“Majority of our daily food is brought in by plane and will continue to do so,” Redfern said on Twitter Thursday morning.
“The situation is being monitored and assessed. At this point in time, there is no need for our residents to panic.”
The fire was spotted early this morning at the rear of the building that houses the Northmart grocery store and warehouse.
Thick, black smoke could be seen billowing across the snow-covered community.
An elementary school across the street was closed and nearby seniors’ residence evacuated.
Residents were asked to cut down on personal water use while firefighters doused the blaze.
The store is owned by The North West Company of Winnipeg.
Messages left at the office seeking comment were not returned Thursday morning.
Northmart is one of two major stores in the Nunavut capital. It sells food, clothing and household supplies.
It is a main meeting spot in the community of more than 7,000 people.
Redfern said city and territorial officials had met with retailers about the food supply.
“All our other retailers are confident that they have sufficient food on hand to supply our community needs,” she tweeted.
“If the shelves become empty, they will be replenished in due course.”
There were reports on Twitter of other smaller, fires overnight, including a few vehicle fires.