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Pikangikum First Nation house fire leaves family of 9 dead


A house fire on Pikangikum First Nation has killed six adults and three children.

The three bedroom house was reported to be in flames after 11pm on Tuesday.

All nine victims were related. Police have identified the deceased as Dean and Annette Strang, their son Gilbert Strang and his partner, their daughter Faith Strang and her partner, and their three children.

Niishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler issued a statement saying this tragedy is just one side of the public health crisis going on in their territory.

Pikangikum is one of several communities that does not have firefighting services.

This he says, combined with overcrowding in homes on remote northern reserves has proven tragic all too often.

A federal study on fire safety on reserves in 2010 found that people living on First Nation reserves are 10 times more likely to die in a house fire than people in the rest of Canada.

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