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

  • Transgender people can enlist in the U.S. military on Jan. 1

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon is allowing transgender people to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's opposition. The new policy reflects growing legal pressure on the issue, and the difficult hurdles the federal government would have to cross to enforce Trump's demand to ban transgender individuals from the military. Source
  • Victory over Islamic State declared, worry is now guerrilla warfare

    World News CBC News
    Welcome to The National Today, which takes a closer look at what's happening around some of the day's most notable stories. Sign up here under "Subscribe to The National's newsletter," and it will be delivered directly to your inbox Monday to Friday. Source
  • Relatives of murdered seniors set to ask to take part in public inquiry

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Relatives of murdered seniors, along with advocacy and health-care groups, are among four dozen applicants seeking to participate in a public inquiry sparked by a nurse who killed eight elderly long-term-care residents in Ontario. Source
  • B.C. man charged with animal cruelty after dog nearly dies of fleas

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- An advocacy group says an animal cruelty charge has been laid against a British Columbia man after a dog nearly died of a serious flea infestation. The SPCA says in a release that an older terrier named Rascal was rushed to an animal hospital on Vancouver Island earlier this year after losing about 85 per cent of his blood to fleas. Source
  • 'Tis the season for doorstep stealing? Shoppers vent about delivery security

    Canada News CBC News
    Todd Bailey is fed up with delivery companies that drop his online purchases at his door. A few years ago, the Grande Prairie, Alta., resident was at the hospital for the birth of his child when a big-screen TV he had ordered was left on his front stoop. Source
  • Happy Valley-Goose Bay mayor made superhuman effort to get help after being shot

    Canada News CTV News
    HAPPY VALLEY GOOSE BAY, N.L. -- Friends of a Labrador mayor say he somehow got on a snowmobile and reached a nearby highway to flag down help after he was shot in the lower face while hunting. Source
  • Sask. man sentenced after threatening online to 'blow out' Justin Trudeau's brains

    Canada News CBC News
    A Saskatchewan man has received a two-year suspended sentence for making online threats against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Derek Hurrell, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of uttering threats earlier this year. According to the Crown prosecutor, Hurrell posted on Facebook stating he wanted to "blow out" Justin Trudeau's brains. Source
  • Women who accuse Trump of sexual misconduct call for Capitol Hill investigation

    World News CBC News
    Three women who have previously accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment shared their stories Monday on NBC's Megyn Kelly Today. Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks told of alleged harassment by Trump spanning decades. Source
  • Ex-contractor says he shut Trump's Twitter account by accident

    World News CBC News
    The contractor who shut down Donald Trump's Twitter account has told Reuters he did so by mistake, but says he believes some of the U.S. president's recent tweets breach the social network's ban on hate speech. Source
  • Man, 24, arrested for trying to climb Buckingham Palace wall

    World News CTV News
    London police say they have arrested a 24-year-old-man who allegedly tried to climb a wall outside Buckingham Palace on Sunday night. The Metropolitan Police said Monday the suspect didn't have any weapons on him and "the incident is not being treated as terrorist related. Source