Man dies in fire on Long Plain First Nation

A man is dead following a fire in Long Plain First Nation.

Michael Andrew Whitford Perswain, 34, died in a house fire early Friday morning

A man died in a fire on Long Plain First Nation on Friday, December 18. (Google Maps)

A man is dead following a house fire in Long Plain First Nation. 

Michael Andrew Whitford Perswain, 34, was home alone early Friday morning when emergency crews were called. Firefighters found the house fully engulfed in flames.

Long Plain fire chief Randy Merrick told CBC News that a volunteer firefighter with the department was first on the scene and entered the burning house. A man was located in the bedroom and pulled outside.

Merrick said the firefighter, along with the victim's mother and father, performed CPR. However, the victim couldn't be revived.

Perswain's common-law wife, Candace Roulette, said Perswain's mother and 12-year-old son also lived in the house but weren't there at the time of the blaze. 

Merrick said he is still awaiting an official cause for the fire but believes it was caused by unattended cooking.

A wake for Perswain will be held Tuesday afternoon, Roulette said. A funeral will be held Wednesday.

Fire chief: Long Plain has needed equipment for fires and emergencies

Merrick said a report published Monday that said almost half of Canada's first nations have little or no fire protection doesn't hold true for Long Plain First Nation.

He said that he believes his department is well equipped to handle fires and other emergencies.

"We are very well equipped," he said. "Our chief and council make sure that when I make a request for any equipment, it's something that we do need and they make every effort to make it available to us."

The First Nation has two fire trucks and a complement of ten firefighters. They communicate with two-way radios on reserve and get dispatched through the provincial 911 system.

Merrick believes the First Nation is very up to date when it comes to fire protection.

The report, published by the Canadian Press, said First Nations are 10 times more likely to die in a fire on a reserve compared to the rest of Canada.

With files from The Canadian Press