Condolences pour in for KI following fatal fire
Tim Brody - Editor
Condolences are pouring in for Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation after an early morning house fire on May 2 killed five residents of the community.
Chief Donny Morris shared “We are in utter disbelief as every community member is connected and impacted. Today, our community mourns this tragic loss.”
Morris stated in a press release, “Our community is grief stricken and are doing our best to provide support to the family and all affected by this horrific tragedy.”
A press release issued by the community on May 6 identified the victims of the fire, “The deceased parent, and long-time foster parent, Geraldine Chapman, lost her daughter in the fire, Shyra Shadara Taylor Bella Chapman age six, as well as three of her foster children, Angel Kenisha Mckay aged 12, Karl Jovon Cutfeet aged nine and Hailey Ocean Jenna Chapman aged seven.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been started at: https://www.gofundme.com/tragic-fire-in-ki.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler and Mushkegowuk Council Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon released the following statements: “We were saddened to learn of the tragedy this morning and our prayers are with the victims, their families and the entire community during this difficult time. This is a devastating loss for the community. We have assured Chief and Council that we will support them in any way possible as they grieve in the days and weeks ahead,” Fiddler said.
“On behalf of the Mushkegowuk Council, Council of Chiefs and our citizens, we would like to express our sincere condolences to the community, the families and to the leadership of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug,” Solomon stated.
NAN arranged for a team of crisis support workers to be sent to the community.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa released the following statement:
“Today we join with the people of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation who are grieving the tragic deaths of community members and loved ones in an early morning house fire.
“Our thoughts and our hearts are with the surviving family members, their friends, and the community during this difficult time.
“We express our deepest condolences to everyone impacted by this tragic loss. We hope they find solace and strength in community, and feel an outpouring of love from across the province as they grieve together.”
Kenora MP Bob Nault said in a statement, “I would like to share my condolences with the friends and families of those lost in the recent house fire. When something like this happens in a community, it affects everyone, including those in nearby communities.
“As we continue to mourn the lives of those lost, I offer my support in this time of unbelievable grief. In the coming days, I know community members will bring strength and support to each other as they work to overcome this tragedy.”
Ontario Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford issued the following statement, “It is with great sadness that I share my condolences with the families, their friends, the community, and the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation leadership on the tragic house fire.
“I understand the Ontario Chief Coroner is sending a team to KI, and the Ontario Fire Marshall will also be visiting the scene of the tragedy. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and Ontario officials are in contact with the community.
“I would like to thank the first responders and acknowledge the strength and support of the community during this terrible time.
“Our government will work with the community and the federal government over the next days and weeks to see how we can continue to be of assistance and to offer support as needed to help with this crisis.”
An investigation into the fire is currently being conducted by members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) North West Regional Crime Unit and OPP Forensic Identification Services (FIS) under the direction of Detective Inspector Pete Liptrott of the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB). Members from the Office of the Fire Marshall and Emergency Management (OFMEM), Ontario Forensic Pathology Services - Forensic Anthropology and the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario are also engaged and working in cooperation with the OPP.
Ontario Provincial Police are asking anyone with information regarding this investigation contact them at 1-888-310-1122.
Should people wish to remain anonymous, they may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or access their website at: http://www.p3tips.com/273.