5 victims of tragic house fire in northwestern Ontario First Nation identified
Geraldine Chapman 'raised her adopted children as her very own' says Chief Donnie Morris
The four children and one woman who died in a tragic early morning house fire in Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation in northwestern Ontario, also known as Big Trout Lake, on Thursday have been identified, the community stated in a written release Monday.
A long time foster parent, 47-year-old Geraldine Chapman died along with her daughter, Shyra Shadara Taylor Bella Chapman, 6, and her three foster children — Angel Kenisha Mckay, 12, Karl Jovon Cutfeet, 9, and seven-year-old Hailey Ocean Jenna Chapman.
"Our community is grief stricken and are doing our best to provide support to the family and all affected by this horrific tragedy," Chief Donny Morris said.
According to Monday's release, Chapman's 19-year-old daughter, Thyra Chapman, was not in the house during the fire because she was accompanying another community member on a medical trip
"Geraldine raised her adopted children as her very own with the mutual consent of the three families involved," Morris said. "This devastating tragedy has directly impacted four families and, as a result, extends throughout the community as whole."
The forensic unit has completed the investigation, but the scene of the fire is being held until the completion of the postmortem, the release said.
The victims bodies were transported to Toronto on Sunday for postmortem examinations.
"At this time the cause of the blaze is still undetermined," Morris stated, "Our focus right now is on helping the family and our community cope. We will address the direct and underlying cause of the fire once we have dealt with the community crisis at hand."