Friends and relatives appealed online for help after a fire destroyed a Fort Providence family’s home on Monday. Family members said the fire had claimed the life of a child.
Chantel Bonnetrouge, organizing an online fundraiser, said her sister-in-law’s family had lost a daughter and the fire had destroyed “absolutely everything.”
“They have five other young kids as well who they need to take care of,” Bonnetrouge wrote.
The exact circumstances of the fire are not clear. The NWT fire marshal, Chucker Dewar, was travelling to Fort Providence from Yellowknife on Tuesday morning.
RCMP said the fire began shortly after 1pm on Monday. Police confirmed several residents of the home had been treated for injuries but said no further details were available.
Chief Joachim Bonnetrouge of the Deh Gáh Got’îê First Nation, reached by text message, said the community was in shock and grieving. He was spending Tuesday with relatives involved in the tragedy.
On Facebook, posts called for donations of clothing, housewares, baby formula and diapers, as well as financial assistance for the family.
Donations are being collected in Fort Providence at the side of the Snowshoe Café. There are also collections being arranged in Fort Simpson, Hay River, and Yellowknife.
Posts on social media requested clothing in a women’s medium, men’s extra large, boys’ sizes 4, 5, 8, and 14, and clothing for a six-month-old baby.
On Monday evening, Mayor of Fort Providence Danny Beaulieu said firefighters had begun an investigation. Little was otherwise known about the fire’s cause.
The property was still unsafe to enter on Tuesday morning, officials said.