2 adults, 3 children killed in house fire northwest of Edmonton
Rochfort Bridge home destroyed despite 'extensive efforts' by fire crews, RCMP said
A family of five, two adults and three children, died in a house fire Thursday in a small hamlet northwest of Edmonton.
Firefighters and police were called to a home in Rochfort Bridge at 4 p.m. local time, but despite "extensive efforts" the house was destroyed, RCMP said Friday in a news release.
The fire is not believed to be suspicious, said Cpl. Greg Anderson with Mayerthorpe RCMP.
A family member has confirmed to CBC News the deceased were Marvin and Janet Gibbs and their three grandchildren.
Police have not confirmed the ages or names of the victims.
At 1:30 a.m. Friday, firefighters reported that the remains of one person had been found in the home.
The fire department notified the RCMP at around 4:30 a.m. Friday that four other bodies had been found, Anderson said.
A more extensive search of the residence was delayed until 9 a.m.
The victims are "believed to be two adults and three children," RCMP said in a news release.
"The residence has been there for quite some time. It's an older residence. I would assume the persons inside have lived in the community for quite some time. I assume this will have an effect on the community," Anderson said.
Rochfort Bridge is a small community of about 50 people some 130 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. Michelle Trudzik works at a local store and said she knows the family that's believed to have died.
"Everyone's devastated," Trudzik said. "Everyone's just trying to wrap their head around it."
Joe Blakeman, the reeve of Lac Ste. Anne County, was still waiting to learn details about the fire on Friday afternoon.
"Automatically what goes through my mind is, 'Oh my God,'" Blakeman said. "It's a tragedy and it's going to be ongoing throughout our community for so much time down the road because of everybody that's involved."
RCMP have brought Victim Services into the community for those in need, Anderson said Friday evening.
The Office of the Fire Commissioner and the RCMP continue to investigate.
Anderson said he hopes to have a "definite answer" on the cause of the fire by Monday.