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Hero who rescued toddler haunted by baby he couldn’t save

Timothy Mason says he's haunted by his inability to rescue baby Errabella Harper from the fire that distroyed this house on St. Theresa Point First Nation. RCMP handout / The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG – A man who rescued a toddler from a burning home on a Manitoba First Nation says he’s haunted by the baby he wasn’t able to save.

Timothy Mason testified Wednesday at an inquest into the deaths of three children and an adult in two separate house fires on remote Manitoba reserves.

He was a band constable when one of the fires broke out at St. Theresa Point First Nation in January 2011.

Mason crawled in through a window to rescue a toddler, but had to leave before he could find baby Errabella Harper.

He told the inquest he is still haunted by her death and struggles every time he hears a baby cry.

Five children escaped that fire, but two-month-old Errabella died.

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The inquest is also examining a second fire about two months later in God’s Lake Narrows that killed Demus James and his two young grandchildren.

The inquest has heard how neither community had a working fire truck and neighbours tried to fight both blazes with buckets of water and low-pressure hoses.

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