A young Alberta father and toddler have been identified as the two people found dead after a devastating house fire in the hamlet of Plamondon.
Lac La Biche RCMP and municipal fire crews responded to a residential fire at 12:45 a.m. Saturday.
RCMP said two people were found dead — believed to be a man and a child. A 19-year-old woman was flown by STARS Air Ambulance to an Edmonton hospital.
A gofundme page organized by a close family friend said Nathan Payette and Haley Baker had just moved from Grande Cache to Plamondon with their daughter, Avery, days before the fatal fire.
Felicia O’Connell said the couple moved to the northern Alberta hamlet “to start a new life with their little family… Unfortunately, the dream was cut short.”
Nathan and “baby Avery” lost their lives in the fire after Nathan tried to save the toddler.
“Nathan died a hero in the eyes of my family,” O’Connell wrote.
The fundraising page explains Haley “now suffers from eye damage,” she said, adding the young woman has been released from the University of Alberta hospital.
The mayor of Lac La Biche County, Omer Moghrabi, is aware of the gofundme effort and said the county will work with the creator to help support Haley and her family. As of 11 a.m. Sunday, more than $10,500 had been raised.
Only about 400 people live in Plamondon, Moghrabi said, but they’d come together and try to help.
“It’s difficult on a small community like this. Everybody knows everybody. We’re a large area but everybody knows everybody so you feel sad,” he told Global News on Saturday.
“As humans, we’re not built to lose our children so there’s no real way to cope. So all you do is you try.”
The Office of the Fire Commissioner and RCMP continue to investigate. The mayor said the fire is not considered suspicious.
Plamondon is about 200 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.