Northern Manitoba First Nation In Mourning After House Fire Kills Three

Mourners left two hats next to the remains of a home on Oxford House First Nation that was destroyed in a fire on Tuesday. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

Mourners left two hats next to the remains of a home on Oxford House First Nation that was destroyed in a fire on Tuesday. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

By Red Power Media, Staff

A Manitoba reserve is mourning after three people died in a house fire.

New Year’s Eve morning on the Bunibonibee Cree Nation started with a solemn procession.

The northeastern Manitoba reserve, also known as Oxford House, is in the process of mourning the deaths of three members killed in a house fire Tuesday morning.

Two days later, dozens of vehicles with their hazard lights blinking follow slowly behind an RCMP truck carrying the remains of three bodies discovered in the rubble. It was headed to the community airport.

About 100 mourners surrounded a small plane on the tarmac. An emotional gathering centred around the immediate family of father and son, James and Jamie Crane, and their cousin Jastidee Sinclair.

According to the National Post‎, Chief Tim Muskego of the Bunibonibee Cree Nation said the fire call came in around 6:37 a.m. Tuesday.

Volunteers and a fire truck quickly responded, but by the time they arrived the home was engulfed in flames.

“This tragedy is affecting the whole community,” Muskego said Wednesday. “It is very, very devastating to each and every one of us. It is something that we have never experienced.”

RCMP Sgt. Bert Paquet said at this point investigators do not believe the fire was related to any criminal act.

“As we continue to investigate, our prayers go out to the Oxford House community and the families affected,” he said in a release.

Oxford House First Nation, is 950 km north of Winnipeg.

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