'We lost a little girl, and everybody is pretty sad': Carbonear mayor says town in mourning
One child dead, man in hospital following house fire in town
A Conception Bay North town is in mourning following the tragic death of a five-year-old girl in over the weekend.
A child's body was found inside a burning home in Carbonear sometime after 5 a.m. on Sunday. Mayor George Butt says his community has been been consumed by news of the incident.
"It's a very sad situation here this weekend," said Butt. "We lost a little girl, and everybody is pretty sad."
"Everybody's talking about it. It's a terrible, terrible tragedy."
Flowers and a teddy bear have been left on the property on Hayden Heights Hill in a small, makeshift memorial for the child.
Father unable to talk
The father of the girl was brought to a hospital in St. John's for treatment, following the fire on the usually-quiet residential street.
Police said the man was the only other person in the house at the time, but he "hasn't been able to speak to anyone" since the fire, according to RCMP Staff Sgt. Howard Gale.
Police not saying, but CBC confirmed man in <a href="https://twitter.com/TownofCarbonear">@TownofCarbonear</a> house damaged by fire was young victim's father. He's alive, say RCMP. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcnl?src=hash">#cbcnl</a>—@TRobertst
CBC News has learned the father was separated from the mother of the girl, and they had been sharing custody.
The Harbour Grace RCMP have launched an extensive investigation into the incident, but so far no charges have been announced.
In a media update on Monday afternoon, police did not say that they suspected foul play — but did not rule it out.
"At this point in time, we're not able to say one way or the other," said Gale. The cause of the fire is still also under investigation.
Major crime and forensic units, the fire commissioner's office and the office of the medical examiner were on the scene on Sunday.
"With the death of a five-year-old, we're throwing all of our resources at it," said Gale. "Anything that we have available."
An autopsy was scheduled on Monday morning, and the RCMP are waiting for the results.
The town's mayor heaped praise upon his fire department, who responded to the scene early Sunday morning before police arrived.
"They're all volunteers, and they do a lot of things that a lot of us wouldn't be able to do," said Butt. "It couldn't have been very nice seeing [that.]"
He also called on his community to send their love to the family of the young girl.
"It's going to take them a long time to get over this," he said.
"And with lots of support and friends, it may make it a bit easier. Hopefully it will."
With files from Terry Roberts