3 killed after house fire in remote Manitoba community

OXFORD HOUSE, Man. -- Three people are dead after fire destroyed an old wooden house on a remote reserve in northern Manitoba.

See Full Article

Chief Tim Muskego of the Bunibonibee Cree Nation said the fire call came in around 6:37 a.m. Tuesday.

Volunteers and a fire truck quickly responded, but by the time they arrived the home was engulfed in flames.

"This tragedy is affecting the whole community," Muskego said Wednesday. "It is very, very devastating to each and every one of us. It is something that we have never experienced."

The community of about 2,600 people, formerly known as the Oxford House First Nation, is 950 km north of Winnipeg.

RCMP said three bodies were found in the rubble of the house.

Muskego said people in the community know who the victims are, but no names will be officially released pending the results of an investigation by RCMP and the Manitoba fire commissioner office.

The chief said the First Nation does not have a fire department and relies on volunteers who aren't really trained. Water has to be trucked to fires. Only a fraction of the community is serviced with water mains.

"Our people need to be trained in firefighting. And they need equipment. And our community also needs water lines with fire hydrants," he said.

A federal report completed in 2011 says almost half First Nations across Canada have little to no fire protection and rely too heavily on poorly trained volunteer firefighters.

The report found that fire incidence rates for First Nations are 2.4 times higher than for the rest of Canada. First Nations residents are also 10 times more likely to die in a house fire.

The Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada has said the report does not provide a complete picture of fire protection coverage in First Nation communities today.

Friends were quick to express their condolences to the family of the victims on social media.

"So sorry for your loss. I can't image how you're feeling, but I'm sending the best angels to comfort all of you," Sandra and Faith Paupanekis wrote on Facebook.

"May God help you get through this."

RCMP Sgt. Bert Paquet said at this point investigators do not believe the fire was related to any criminal act.

"As we continue to investigate, our prayers go out to the Oxford House community and the families affected," he said in a release.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Cleanup underway at site of oil spill near Stoughton

    Canada News CBC News
    Authorities are on scene of an oil spill near Stoughton, Sask. The oil did not reach any water sources but had covered some agricultural land, a government spokesperson said in an email. The Ministry of Environment had been notified of the oil spill on Friday, but no word on when the leak started was released. Source
  • Ohio dad, son shackled, raped teen girl: Cops

    World News Toronto Sun
    The “pretty” 13-year-old looked lost, bedraggled -- and terrified. As she rambled around gritty downtown Toledo, Ohio a pair of Good Samaritans likely saved the “unclean and traumatized” girl from an unspeakable hell. What the teen told them was a chilling horror story. Source
  • Visa mix-up: Syrian refugee who founded N.S. chocolatier stopped at U.S. border

    Canada News CTV News
    ANTIGONISH, N.S. -- A Syrian refugee whose family has established a thriving chocolate-making business in northern Nova Scotia says U.S. border officials prevented him from entering the United States on the weekend because he didn't have a visa, as required by law. Source
  • Fearful billionaire 'preppers' building Armageddon bunkers

    World News Toronto Sun
    A slew of Silicon Valley billionaires who are fearful they’ll be targeted by rabble because of their riches are taking to their bunkers. A report in the New Yorker outlines the how and why the petrified plutocrats plan to survive Armageddon. Source
  • Study suggests third of cigarettes sold in Ontario are contraband

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A new study suggests nearly a third of cigarettes sold in Ontario are purchased illegally. The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco commissioned research that tracked the cigarette-buying habits of people in Ontario. Source
  • Montreal-area pit bull to be euthanized after attack on young boy

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- A recent dog attack on a seven-year-old Montreal boy shows the importance of the city's new anti-pit bull bylaw, a borough mayor said Monday. The new law "is essential," Verdun Mayor Jean-Francois Parenteau told Radio-Canada. Source
  • China swings back at golf, shutting down 111 courses

    World News Toronto Sun
    BEIJING — China has launched a renewed crackdown on golf, closing 111 courses in an effort to conserve water and land, and telling members of the ruling Communist Party to stay off the links. The state-run Xinhua News Agency said Sunday the courses were closed for improperly using groundwater, arable land or protected land within nature reserves. Source
  • CDC accused of cancelling climate change conference to avoid Trump backlash

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The government's top public health agency has cancelled a conference next month on climate change and health but isn't saying why publicly. But a co-sponsor was told by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the agency was worried how the conference would be viewed by the Trump administration. Source
  • Public reprimand for Ontario doctor who 'brought shame to the profession'

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario's medical watchdog has issued a scathing reprimand against a psychiatrist who sexually abused multiple patients over more than a decade, saying the man brought shame to the profession. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario said Dr. Source
  • Woman accused of smearing bananas on cars at Trump's club

    World News CTV News
    PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A woman is being charged with sneaking onto President Donald Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club shortly before his inauguration and smearing bananas on cars. Palm Beach, Florida, police say in a report released Monday that 48-year-old Kelly Weidman also typed a profanity about Trump on a Mar-a-Lago computer and moved outside some ballroom balloons a few hours before Trump was sworn-in Friday. Source