SANDY LAKE, Ont. — The chief of Sandy Lake First Nation says the eldest of three children killed in a house fire Thursday night turned nine that day.
Chief Delores Kakegamic identified the deceased in a press release as nine-year-old Grant Meekis, six-year-old Remi Meekis and four-year-old Wilfred Fiddler.
Officials have said the flames completely engulfed the family's northern Ontario home, and Kakegamic says they lost everything.
She says the parents, Delaney and Cassandra Meekis, survived the blaze, as did three other children.
Kakegamic says the surviving siblings are 12, 10 and roughly 10 months old.
She says a lack of adequate water lines and infrastructure hampered firefighters' efforts, preventing them from using hydrants.
"Our volunteers did all they could with what they had," she said. "We should have the same level of support as anyone else in Canada. Lives are at stake."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2022.
The Canadian Press