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One confirmed deceased in Pikangikum house fire

By Adam Riley Feb 27, 2023 | 5:30 AM

Investigators have confirmed one person was killed in a Pikangikum house fire which took place Wednesday night, while two others remain unaccounted for.

The fire broke out around 10 o’clock on the evening of February 22nd, police and Pikangikum Peacekeepers were powerless to stop the blaze, as the community’s two fire trucks experienced mechanical issues due to cold weather, and were unable to respond.

In a release Chief Shirley Lynne Keeper says the community is devastated.

“We have never felt so hopeless. Our ability to fight structural fires has not improved since 2016. Our fire trucks were frozen because we don’t have an adequate building to keep them warm.”

In March of 2016 nine people, including an infant, from one family were killed in a house fire.

An incident, Keeper says, greatly affected the community and had them pushing for better fire protection from the federal government.

“We never wanted to see this happen again. The government’s response to date has been unacceptable. No more words, we need action from the government to provide proper fire services in our community of 4,000 people.”

In a social media post Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu says her office is working to make sure the community has the resources and supports it needs in this time of tragedy.

A joint investigation between the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office remains ongoing.


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