A 20-year-old Ottawa man is dead after a fight at a house party in Yellowknife over the weekend.

Emerson Curran had been working at Air Tindi, a small airline servicing the north, for the summer. He had been studying philosophy at the University of Ottawa.

"I know that he can feel how much everyone loved him and how heartbroken we all are that he's gone," Jillian Gummo, who had been dating Curran, told CBC News.

"He was really fearless. He loved his life and loved everyone in it."

She spoke to him for the last time on Friday night before he went to the house party, Gummo said.

Emergency call came from house party


Emerson Curran had been studying philosophy at the University of Ottawa. (Submitted by Michael Curran)

RCMP in Yellowknife received an emergency call from a house in that city's Frame Lake South area late Friday night.

"A 20-year-old male was reported to be in need of medical attention after an altercation at a house party," the RCMP said in a release. "The male was transported to Stanton Territorial Hospital by ambulance and then transferred to Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton."

Curran was pronounced dead in hospital on Sunday.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Barry Ledoux told CBC News it's still too early to confirm exactly what happened and if any charges will be laid.

A store manager at the Farm Boy in Orleans said he worked with Curran for eight months before Curran left for Yellowknife. Rob Willis said employees there are "devastated" by the news.

"I closed [the store] the last night that Emerson was here. And I remember shaking his hand and saying good luck, and all the right things. … He was a quieter sort of guy that just did well with the people around him," Willis said. "[He was] a smiling, happy, go-lucky guy. A lucky guy, a great young guy with a future, genuinely excited about his opportunity in Yellowknife and what he would learn and see from that experience.

"We're all very upset here and very sad. … Our thoughts and prayers are definitely going to his family and his friends."

Organs donated

In an email to CBC News, Curran's father, Michael Curran, said "what made Em unique was his passion for talking with people and exploring their ideas."

He said some of his son's organs have been donated.

"That part of this story is really the only thing sustaining me right now," Curran's father wrote.

He said that after the family was told Emerson was brain dead with no hope of recovery, the family made the decision to donate his organs.

Curran said his heart, lungs, liver, two kidneys and his pancreas have all been donated.

Police in Yellowknife are still investigating, and no arrests had yet been made Tuesday.

Anyone with information about the suspicious death is asked to call Yellowknife RCMP at 1-867-669-1111.