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OPP say child who died in Oneida house fire sparked blaze

OPP say child who died in Oneida house fire sparked blaze - image
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

OPP say a house fire that killed five people on the Oneida of the Thames First Nation late last year was set by one of the children who died in the blaze.

The fire on Dec. 14, 2016, south of London, took the lives of 43-year-old Kurt Justin Antone and his four young children, 7-year-old Keanu, 4-year-old Kenneth, 3-year-old Kance and 3-month-old Kyias.

READ MORE: Police identify man, 4 children killed in Ontario First Nation fire

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The First Nation’s chief said after the blaze that the two-storey home was old and “basically kindling.”

Police have not identified the child who sparked the fire.

“The OPP offers its sincerest condolences to the community as it heals from the horrific loss of a father and his four young children,” said the OPP in a news release.

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The investigation into the fire was conducted under the direction of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch in cooperation with the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, Ontario Forensic Pathology Services – Forensic Anthropology, Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario, OPP Forensic Identification Services, Oneida Nation of the Thames First Nation Police, OPP Middlesex County Crime Unit, and OPP Middlesex County detachment.

READ MORE: Chiefs call for inquest into deaths of First Nations youth in Ontario care

Police say the investigation is now concluded.

Following the blaze, Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said the federal government is determined to improve aboriginal housing.

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