Fatal Fire in Weenusk First Nation Claims Life of Ten Year Old Girl

Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal
Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal

Weenusk First Nation – A house fire has claimed the life of a ten-year-old girl. The fatal house fire in Weenusk First Nation (Peawanuck) occurred over the weekend.

There were ten people living in the home. The ten-year-old was the only fatality. Several people were flown out to Moose Factory be treated for smoke inhalation.

The fire remains under investigation by the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service with assistance from the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office and the provincial coroner’s office.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to assist the family: https://www.gofundme.com/f/Wabano-family-fire-peawanick-first-nation

Sadly the community, which has no fire fighting equipment has a fire truck purchased, however it is in Winnipeg. Over the past three winters, the community which is only accessible by air or winter ice road, has not seen the roads safe enough for the fire truck to be delivered.

There is no set standard in place for volunteer firefighters, in remote First Nation communities.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum and the Executive Council are mourning the loss of a 10-year-old girl from a fatal house fire in Weenusk First Nation (Peawanuck) over the weekend:

“Our prayers have been with the family, first responders, and the entire Peawanuck community since we learned about this tragedy. We join them in mourning the passing of this beautiful child whose young life was taken under the most tragic and heartbreaking of circumstances.

We are in touch with the family and community leaders and have assured them that we will do everything we can to help. Our Crisis Response staff are assisting, and we appreciate the efforts of Mushkegowuk Council and the many others who are providing the needed supports to the family and community. Please join us in prayer for strength and healing for Peawanuck over the difficult days ahead.

Over the years, our communities have lost far too many people to house fires and other emergencies. It is unacceptable that the lives of this young girl and her family were placed at such risk because of the lack of basic firefighting equipment, fire prevention, and emergency services in their community. Our leaders are extremely frustrated that these tragedies continue to happen despite all our best efforts to secure the resources they so desperately need.”

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