The chief of Mishkeegogamang First Nation says she will push for a coroner's inquest into fire safety, after a house fire claimed the lives of four people in the community last week.

Connie Gray-McKay said she will wait for the Ontario Fire Marshal's report to find out how the fire happened, but said it shouldn't take a tragedy to get the federal government to pay attention to fire risks in First Nations communities.


Mishkeegogamang Chief Connie Gray-McKay says the federal government does not provide enough funding to deal with the root causes of fires. (Jody Porter/CBC)

"The underlying roots ... need to be addressed,” she said. “[Those] underlying roots [include] inadequate housing and … inadequate resources to our communities. Those have to be pushed."

Gray-McKay said there was another deadly fire in Mishkeegogamang First Nation a couple of years ago and the community has expressed its worries about fire safety for years.  

"All our concerns and all our desires to make our community safe have fallen on deaf ears," she said. "It's not until something tragic like this happens that does anybody ever move.”