Thunder Bay

Ontario First Nation's community holds funeral for 5 dead in house fire

A northern Ontario First Nation community has said goodbye to a mother and four children who died in a tragic house fire earlier this month.

An estimated 300 people attended the three-hour service

The community of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation lost four children and one woman during the fatal house fire. 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. (KI / Submitted)

A northern Ontario First Nation community has said goodbye to a mother and four children who died in a tragic house fire earlier this month.

The Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, also known as BigTrout Lake, held a funeral Friday for the five victims.  An estimated 300 people attended the three-hour service, which was held at the local hockey arena because of the number of attendants.   

Geraldine Chapman, 47, her six year-old biological daughter Shyra Chapman and three foster children — seven-year-old Hailey Chapman, nine-year-old Karl Cutfeet and 12-year-old Angel McKay — were killed when the blaze gutted their lakeside home.   

A wake was held on Thursday in Sioux Lookout at the Calvary Baptist Church before the remains were transported back to the community about 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ont.   

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Chief Donny Morris says it has been a long, hard journey for the families and the community, but they are thankful for a beautiful service and relieved the family is finally home.