Fire that killed 3 people in rural Manitoba caused by careless cooking: fire commissioner

Careless cooking was the cause of a devastating fire that killed two adults and a two-year-old girl while leaving four other children homeless last week, the office of the fire commissioner said Thursday.

Plumas home didn't have any working smoke detectors, according to provincial spokesperson

A fatal fire left behind the burned-out husk of a modular home where first responders found three people dead in Plumas, Man., last week. (Justin Fraser/CBC)

A devastating fire that killed two adults and a two-year-old girl last week while leaving four other children homeless was caused by careless cooking, the office of the fire commissioner said Thursday.

RCMP said they were called last Friday afternoon, along with local firefighters and paramedics, to a residential fire in Plumas, Man., about 150 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

Mounties said once firefighters put out the blaze, they found the bodies of a 36-year-old man, a 28-year-old woman and a two-year-old girl. All three lived in the home together with four other kids who were found safely at another location.

A spokesperson from the province told CBC News in an email the investigation by the office of the fire commissioner found the cause of the fire was careless cooking.

A little pink tricycle could be seen outside the modular home on a lot of farmland with outbuildings and a few vehicles in the yard on Saturday. (Justin Fraser/CBC)

The spokesperson also said there were no working smoke detectors in the home at the time of the fire.

The chief of Plumas Fire Department said flames were pouring out the windows and climbing up the side of the structure "like a matchbox" by the time his crew arrived. The closest neighbour lives almost a kilometre away.

"We got the fire out, but it was too late already," fire chief Gordon Coutts said.

Community pulling together

The school division's superintendent said the entire school quickly banded together to watch over the four other children until arrangements could be made.

"Because when you have four children in a school it's impacting every grade level in the school," said Donna Miller Fry, the superintendent of Pine Creek School Division.

"This is a huge tragedy for such a small community and there isn't going to be anyone who isn't impacted by it."

With files from Austin Grabish