Long-time friends die in Rosthern, Sask. house fire
Family members gathered at the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation’s recreation centre Monday, looking at pictures of two loved ones lost tragically in a house fire.
Sidney Thomas, 46, and Albert Mike, 52, died in Rosthern, Sask., last week.
They’re described as two pals who liked to joke around and host parties at the home they were renting.
“Before Halloween … that’s when he came and visited me once. It was the last time I saw him,” Roselee McCallum reminisced.
Thomas was McCallum’s younger brother and Mike was her brother-in-law.
“They’re always hanging around together. They do things together,” McCallum said.
Fire crews received the call at 6:20 p.m. CT on Nov. 10.
“The extensiveness of the fire was beyond anybody going in and doing a search,” Rosthern fire Chief Darcy Hrycuik explained.
The home was engulfed on arrival. Fourteen volunteer firefighters fought into the morning hours to knock down the flames.
According to Hrycuik, the blaze started in the kitchen and appears to be accidental.
McCallum said the two men often used the oven for heat.
“They must have fallen asleep in that house,” McCallum said.
Despite the tragedy, officials are proud of the community’s response.
“It is a sad moment in our community,” Coun. Kate Kading said. “But also we’re very thankful that we can deal with a fire of this magnitude safely and that nobody else was hurt.”
The volunteer fire department purchased a new fire truck in the spring.
“It was probably a couple of hours of fighting the fire vigorously,” Hrycuik said. “Then it was just lots of hot spots. It’s an older home with wood shaving construction in the insulation so lots of hot spots.”
Thomas and Mike will be buried in the coming days.
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