Four people were found dead following a house fire in Fox Lake, Alta., according to the RCMP.
Fox Lake RCMP received a report around 6:40 a.m. Saturday of a house fire on Barge Road.
When police arrived at the scene, officers said the house was already burned down “and likely had been on fire for some time.”
On Sunday, fire investigators and a cadaver dog went to the scene and found the remains of four people inside the home.
The remains of the deceased have been brought to the medical examiner to confirm their identities and cause of death. RCMP said both adults and children died in the fire. No other information has been released about the victims.
Police believe a five-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy managed to escape the house fire. They were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at the Fox Lake nursing station.
Conroy Sewepagaham is the chief of the Little Red River Cree Nation, which is made up of three communities including Fox Lake, a community of about 3,000 people. He said two children and two adults died in the fire.
“Right now we’re just doing our best, being there for the family and giving them space to deal with this loss,” Sewepagaham said Monday, adding it’s a huge loss for the tight-knit community. “I think for a lot of us, we’re still reeling from it. For many, it hasn’t hit home yet.
“We’re all connected some way, somehow.”
Sewepagaham said a vigil was held in Fox Lake on Sunday night, as a way to show support for the family.
“All we’re trying to show is we’re here for the family and doing as much as we can in terms of developing that blanket of support for the survivors.”
As a way of helping the residents cope with the extreme loss, Fox lake Elementary School and Jean Baptiste Sewepagaham High School were closed on Monday.
“We’re just doing some cross collaboration with the various programs that we do manage and making sure that we’re cognizant of the sensitivities for the students that are dealing (with this). There is just a full range of emotions taking place right now throughout the community,” Sewepagaham said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but RCMP said it does not appear to be suspicious.
Fox Lake is approximately 152 kilometres east of High Level.