KANE, Manitoba — The fire chief in a southern Manitoba rural municipality says it was the father of four children who died in an early-morning house fire who made the emergency call.
The man saw smoke coming from his house as he was returning from work, Bernard Schellenberg, volunteer fire chief in the RM of Morris, said Wednesday.
He was not sure if the child’s mother was with the father or in the home.
“The parents have been sent to hospital for observation and three of the other children are at a neighbour’s place,” Schellenberg said.
RCMP said the blaze broke out near the tiny community of Kane, about 95 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.
Schellenberg, who was not at the scene, said the emergency call came in at around 12:15 a.m. and about 20 volunteer firefighters from nearby communities responded in four trucks.
The two-story farmhouse was already engulfed in flames and smoke when crews arrived.
“They went into a defensive strategy and they could not make entrance into the house due to heavy smoke and fire conditions.”
Environment Canada indicates the temperature in the Morris area at the time was -27 C with the wind chill.
Crews were still pouring water on the house Wednesday morning.
The fire is under investigation by the Manitoba Fire Office and the RCMP, Schellenberg said.
A “critical incident stress debrief” was being set up to help the volunteer firefighters who were at the scene, “so they can go through some of the emotions that come with a call like this,” he said.
“Our crews did the best they could with the conditions they had.”