Fatal house fire in Sandy Lake First Nation
Tim Brody - Editor
The leadership of Sandy Lake First Nation have confirmed that a house fire in the community which broke out just after 11 p.m. on Jan. 13 claimed the lives of three children.
A Jan. 14 media statement from Sandy Lake First Nation states, “The Sandy Lake Fire Department and volunteers, Chief and Council, Nishnawbe Aski Police Service and community members acted quickly to help, but were unable to enter the home already engulfed in flames.
“A lack of adequate water lines and infrastructure prevented use of fire hydrants. Only one water truck was operational to feed the fire truck. Proper resourcing is not available to service all fire and safety equipment. Firefighters did not have masks and filled oxygen tanks to effectively put out the fire in time.”
Sandy Lake First Nation shared that the victims of the fire were 9, 6, and four years of age.
The children are survived by their parents and three siblings, aged 12, 10 and 10 months.
Chief Delores Kakegamic is calling for adequate resources for fire and emergency services, “Our volunteers did all they could with what they had. We should have the same level of support as anyone else In Canada. Lives are at stake”
The Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office and members of the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service (NAPS) are investigating.
“On behalf of Nishnawbe Aski Nation, I send our thoughts and prayers to the family, first responders and community of Sandy Lake First Nation at this difficult time,” shared Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Bobby Narcisse in a Jan. 14 release.
“This tragedy comes as a tremendous shock, and words cannot express the grief that we share with the family and community. We are in touch with leadership and have assured Chief and Council that we will help ensure that they receive the supports they need as quickly as possible,” he added.
“Chii-miigwetch to the first responders and other community members who braved extreme cold for hours. We have heard that their efforts were nothing short of heroic.
“This tragedy comes at a very challenging time. We encourage everyone to join the community in prayer and find ways to comfort one another as we grieve this terrible loss,” Narcisse stated.
Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa issued the following statement on Jan. 14: “Our hearts are broken for the members, families, first responders, and leadership of Sandy Lake First Nation as they grieve the horrific loss of three beautiful children.
We are devastated for the family and loved ones mourning these three little ones. Please join me in extending thoughts and prayers to everyone touched by this terrible tragedy.”
Donations to support the family for clothing and other immediate supports can be made by emt to