Family in remote northern Ont. reeling after daughter killed in fire, home destroyed
A family in the remote First Nation community in Peawanuck, Ont., is dealing not only with the death of their young daughter, but the loss of everything they owned in a Jan. 28 house fire.
Ten people lived in the Wabano family home. JC, the couple’s 10-year-old daughter, was killed in the fire. The family is now temporarily living in the band office.
Conrad Iahpail, left, holds CJ, while Jennifer Wabano holds JC in this undated family photo. (Supplied)
Weenusk First Nation is an isolated Cree community in the Kenora District, which is part of the Mushkegowuk Council, about 35 kilometres from the Winisk River's end in Hudson Bay. Its population is less than 300 people.
Retired OPP sergeant Randy Cota and his wife Betty Crawford have set up a GoFundMe page in hopes of helping the family find a new place to live
"Beautiful people," Cota said of the family, who are suffering on many levels following the tragedy.
He said in a community where everyone knows everyone else, the fire sent a "ripple effect that goes all the way down the coastline."
"We'd really like to see them get (help.) They're living at the band office right now, with no privacy," he said.
"It's just devastating, you know, to lose a little daughter and then to be homeless with only the clothes on your back. (But) that’s the true meaning community and caring for ones that are less fortunate. We have to step up, right?"
JC Iahpail, the 10-year-old victim of a house fire Jan. 28 in Peawanuck, Ont., is seen in this photo with her mom, Jennifer Wabano. (Supplied)
Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus tweeted about the tragedy on Monday.
"My deepest sympathies to the Wabano family who lost a child in a house fire this past weekend," Angus said.
Fire victim JC Iahpail, 10, is seen with her cousin, Gage Wabano. (Supplied)
"There was no fire fighting services in the community of Peawanuck. This is (a) tragedy that cannot be allowed to happen again."
And the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority appealed for donations to help the family.
"We are reaching out to ask if anyone would be willing to donate clothing, jackets, and boots to assist them during this difficult time," the group said on its Facebook page.
And Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, sent this statement to CTV News:
"Tragically, a young girl lost her life in a house fire this past weekend in Peawanuck, and my thoughts are with the family and entire community following this heartbreaking loss.
On Sunday, I spoke with Chief Hunter to express my condolences and confirm that Indigenous Services Canada is available to help coordinate supports to the family and community. Our officials are in contact with Chief Hunter and Peawanuck and working with all partners in the region, including Weeneebayko Area Health Authority. We will provide more updates as they become available."
Cota said the local support is growing but he’s hoping more people will pitch in to help the family recover.
"They're having a tough time," he said.
"Not only do they have to deal with having no house and no home, they also have to deal with the loss of one of their daughters."
"They need finances to be able to get established to get somewhere to stay. So we're hoping … we can actually make a difference here and get them established again. And so they don't have to worry about a home, at least."
You can donate to the family here.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Canada makes amendments to foreign homebuyers ban – here's what they look like
Months after Canada's ban on foreign homebuyers took effect on Jan. 1, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has made several amendments to the legislation allowing non-Canadians to purchase residential properties in certain circumstances.
'Leave this with me': Alberta premier heard on call with COVID-19 protester
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, in a leaked cellphone call, commiserated with a COVID-19 protester about his trial while divulging to him there was an internal dispute over how Crown prosecutors were handling COVID-19 cases.
What is the grocery rebate in federal budget 2023? Key questions, answered
To help offset rising living expenses, the Government of Canada has introduced a one-time grocery rebate for low- and modest-income Canadians. Here is what we know about the rebate.
RCMP arrest 5 while executing search warrant at Wet'suwet'en protest camp
RCMP officers executed a search warrant at a protest camp on Wet'suwet'en traditional territory near the under-construction Coastal GasLink pipeline Wednesday.
'Compostable' food packaging may contain hazardous 'forever chemicals': Canadian study
As Canada phases out single-use plastics, more restaurants are opting to use 'compostable' takeout containers. But a new study suggests some of these supposedly eco-friendly containers may pose hazards to our health and the environment.
Could Usain Bolt outrun a 900-pound dinosaur? Physics professor poses the question
A new academic paper pits legendary sprinter Usain Bolt against a 900-pound dinosaur to see who could run a 100-metre distance the fastest.
Recalled in Canada: Change tables over entrapment hazard, hoodies due to risk of choking
Health Canada has issued two recalls, one for change tables over an entrapment hazard and another for bamboo nursing hoodies due to a risk of choking.
Many Canadians like to tell 'white lies' about home-cooked meals: survey
Have you ever had to lie about the quality of a home-cooked meal to protect someone's feelings? According to a new survey by Research Co. you’re not the only one.
Spending to increase economic capacity is fiscally responsible, Freeland says in post-budget defence
Defending her latest federal budget, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said spending that increases economic capacity is fiscally responsible.
Busby Centre braces for higher demand with Salvation Army's meal program ending
The Salvation Army's Barrie Bayside Mission is ending its community meal program as of April 1.
'I have so much rage inside of me,' Veterans angry over war monument vandalism
For the second time in less than a month, vandals targeted a war monument in our area.
Bail hearing for man charged in Elnaz Hajtamiri's alleged assault, kidnapping attempt
Two men facing charges in the alleged assault and failed kidnapping attempt of Ontario woman Elnaz Hajtamiri appeared in court Wednesday, with one seeking to be released from custody just days after his co-accused was granted bail.
BREAKING | Man pulled from house fire in Toronto's Junction Triangle dies in hospital
A man is dead after being pulled from a fire at a home in Toronto’s Junction Triangle neighbourhood.
A rare weather phenomenon strikes southern Ontario again
Thundersnow has struck southern Ontario for a second time this month.
Why is there no cell service on the TTC? Riders say it could increase safety
The Toronto Transit Commission signed a deal in 2012 to provide cellular service on the subway network, but over a decade later, few are able to make a call in an emergency—something the TTC board members, riders and parents say has to change in the wake of the death of Gabriel Magalhaes.
LRT | Stage 2 of Ottawa LRT faces further delay
The long-awaited southern extension to Ottawa's light rail network is facing a further delay, a city committee heard Wednesday.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | Here's what you need to know about the World Men's Curling Championship in Ottawa
CTV News Ottawa looks at what you need to know about the World Men's Curling Championship in Ottawa.
Truck held together with bungee cord pulled off the road in eastern Ontario
Quinte OPP says officers stopped the vehicle on Trenton-Frankford Road on Wednesday with a bungee rope stretching across the back of the truck.
Kitchener minor a victim of “child sextortion scheme” in Minnesota, U.S.
What the United States Attorney’s Office is calling a “child sextortion scheme” run by a man from Coon Rapids, Minnesota involved a minor from Kitchener, Ont.
'Fairly emotional for everybody': Teen struck by LRT visits emergency crews who rescued him
Several weeks after a teen was stuck under an LRT train in Kitchener, he’s now up and walking and visited the emergency crews who helped rescue him.
Cambridge municipal election candidate suing city after names left off ballot
A retired political science professor says he was “stunned” by the way the Cambridge municipal election unfolded.
Coyote encounter unnerves woman
An evening walk along the trails of Westminster Ponds in southeast London, Ont. turned into a frantic scene for Denise Singh and her two dogs.
Over a dozen dogs 'dumped' across Huron and Perth Counties
More than a dozen dogs were abandoned across Huron and Perth Counties on March 23 and 24, and local dog lovers are furious about it.
2,700 cattle escape $2-million barn fire
Damage is estimated at $2-million after a barn and grass fire in southeast London on Tuesday.
Sunny day for Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent
A beautiful sunny day is on the way for Windsor-Essex. The temperature will be slightly cooler than the average for this time of year with Friday being the warmest day of the week at 14 C with rain showers expected.
Fire rips through former Mission Thrift Store building
Windsor fire officials are investigating after a blaze broke out at a commercial building on Giles Boulevard.
Windsor West MPP presses Conservatives over anti-scab legislation
Anti-scab legislation was tabled Wednesday in Queen’s Park by Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky and other members of the NDP which would ban the use of replacement workers during a strike or lockout.
Seven lives lost: The victims of the Old Montreal fire
It's been two weeks since a major fire ripped through a heritage building in the heart of Old Montreal, killing seven people and forever altering the lives of families across the globe. For the families of those who died, the grieving process is only starting.
Bill 15: Quebec tables legislation to overhaul health system
The CAQ government has unveiled its long-promised plan to improve Quebec's public health network. Tabled at the Quebec legislature Wednesday by Health Minister Christian Dubé, Bill 15 promises a major shakeup.
'I lost a brother': Funeral held for teen who died in Old Montreal fire
Almost two weeks after his death, a funeral was held in Laval Wednesday for a teenager who died in the fire in Old Montreal.
Final report to be released today into 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting
The public inquiry that investigated the April 2020 mass murder of 22 people in Nova Scotia is releasing its final report today.
Cold front to sweep mix of snow, rain across the Maritimes Thursday
A low-pressure system moving north of the St. Lawrence River valley will sweep a cold front across the Maritimes on Thursday.
N.S. regulator gathers info on Ozempic prescriptions written to U.S. patients
After British Columbia singled out a Nova Scotia practitioner for writing thousands of Ozempic prescriptions to Americans through pharmacies in metro Vancouver, officials in Nova Scotia began looking into the matter.
Manitobans should prepare for a gas price hike according to an expert
Come the weekend, Manitobans will be paying more for gas and the price could climb even higher in the coming weeks and months according to a gas expert.
Brandon pauses public engagement on 30-year vision over 'inappropriate and unsafe behaviour'
The City of Brandon has paused its public consultation on its 30-year plan for the city due to 'inappropriate and unsafe behaviour' from some residents.
Manitoba family launches lawsuit over COVID-19 vaccination
A Manitoba family has launched a lawsuit alleging their 23-year-old son had a stroke days after receiving a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, leaving him legally blind.
‘I started breaking down:’ Friends remember 15-year-old homicide victim
A 15-year-old girl shot to death in the community of Martindale early Tuesday morning, has now been identified by friends and police as Sarah Alexis Jorquera.
Woman in custody, charges pending following Lions Park LRT station stabbing
Calgary police say they've arrested a woman in connection with a stabbing at the Lions Park LRT station that stemmed from a fight between several people.
Lethbridge UCP candidate Torry Tanner's claims against teachers disputed
A United Conservative Party candidate in Lethbridge claims teachers are exposing students to pornography and gender reassignment without parental knowledge.
Online video between Danielle Smith and Artur Pawlowski raises questions over interference
In an online video, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is heard speaking with outspoken Calgary pastor Artur Pawlowski, creating questions about her influence on Alberta court cases.
Man found dead in SUV, Edmonton homicide detectives on the case
Police are looking for help in the suspicious death of a man found in a vehicle in north Edmonton Wednesday morning.
'Serious labour shortage' holding Alberta's tourism sector back: industry advocates
Alberta's tourism sector has a "serious labour shortage" that can threaten its long-term viability, a new labour study has found.
'I made it': Inside the addiction and mental health treatment ongoing at old Riverview Hospital site
The Riverview Hospital itself has been closed for more than a decade, but 289 people are currently receiving treatment for mental health, addictions or both at the old site.
City of Vancouver considering requiring grant recipients to be 'respectful' in order to get funding
Vancouver city council has asked staff to shape a policy that would require grant recipients to engage with officials in a "respectful manner," a move that one political scientist says suggests an attempt to prevent or punish criticism.
'A freeze response of shock': Expert weighs in on bystanders not stepping in during fatal Vancouver stabbing
After a man was fatally stabbed outside of a Vancouver Starbucks in front of dozens of witnesses, video of the attack is circulating on social media, raising questions about why nobody stepped in to help.