Thunder Bay

Pikangikum fatal house fire: Nishnawbe Aski Nation sets up emergency relief fund

An emergency relief fund has been set up for the community of Pikangikum First Nation after nine people died in a house fire in the remote northwestern Ontario First Nation last week.
The cause of last week's fire on Pikangikum First Nation, which left nine people dead, is still being investigated. The nine, ranging in age from five months to 51 years, died of smoke inhalation, Ontario Provincial Police say. (Kyle Peters/The Canadian Press)

An emergency relief fund has been set up for the community of Pikangikum First Nation after nine people died in a house fire in the remote northwestern Ontario First Nation last week.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation made the announcement Tuesday after the First Nation's chief and council have been "overwhelmed" by offers of support.

"To simplify things we have established the Pikangikum Emergency Relief Fund to accept monetary donations, 100 per cent of which will be provided to the community to help meet their needs," NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler said.

"We greatly appreciate all offers of assistance and  we thank everyone for keeping the people of Pikangikum in their thoughts and prayers."

The nine victims range in age from five months to 51 years old, and all died of smoke inhalation after the fire broke out last Tuesday.

In a news release Monday, Ontario Provincial Police identified the victims as:

  • Dean Strang, 51
  • Annette Strang, 49
  • Gilbert Strang, 31
  • Sylvia Peters, 41
  • Dietrich Peters, 35
  • Faith Strang, 24
  • Ireland Peters, 4
  • Aubree Strang, 2
  • Amber Strang, 5 months

The cause of the fire, which started late last Tuesday, has not yet been determined. An investigation is continuing, but police said foul play is not suspected.

Donations to the "Pikangikum Emergency Relief Fund" can be made at Scotiabank, Account Number 717870024813. Donations will also be accepted at the NAN Administrative Office, 710 Victoria Avenue East, Thunder Bay, Ont.

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