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Fire that destroyed nursing station forces Ontario First Nation to evacuate patients

Children are shown outside during a break week from school in Cat Lake, Ont. on April 13, 2012. The chief of a remote northwestern Ontario First Nation says his community has established a task team to find solutions and provide health services after his community's nursing station was burned down over the weekend. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Heather Scoffield

The chief of a remote northwestern Ontario First Nation says his community has evacuated people with specific medical needs after a fire destroyed its nursing station.

Chief Russell Wesley of Cat Lake First Nation says people who need treatment for cancer, diabetes, and addiction support were among those removed from the community on Monday evening.

The chief says the First Nation has established a team to find solutions aimed at restoring health services following the Saturday night fire in the Ojibway community of about 650 people, located about 440 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, Ont.

He says the six nurses who have remained in the community are currently staying at the local fire base.

The Nishnawbe Aski Police Service has said it is investigating the circumstances of the fire, with support from the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshall.

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Police have said officers in the Cat Lake First Nation detachment were called to the fire at the nursing station just before 9:30 pm on Saturday, and worked with community members to contain the blaze, but by 11:46 p.m. it was deemed “too dangerous” to continue battling the fire.

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