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Five believed dead in house fire

Jan. 14, 2009, Vancouver - A Vancouver Island teacher says five of her family members have been killed in a house fire on a First Nations reserve near the town of Chemainus, B.C., north of Victoria.

January 14, 2009
By The Canadian Press

Anne Tenning said she was called at around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.

“I was told there was a fire and at first they thought there were four people in the house and then I got a call later that said there were five,'' she said.

“They included my mom's sister, my aunt Sally, and my aunt Sally's granddaughter, great-grandchild and two other relatives that were visiting the house.''

Tenning said residents of the reserve about 90 kilometres north of Victoria are in shock.

“Very big families, very tight-knit families,'' she said in a shaky voice. “This is going to be really hard for several extended families from the community.''

Tenning said she was told the fire began in the basement and engulfed the home very quickly.

She believed it may have been sparked when a gas lamp was overturned but fire crews in North Cowichan have not confirmed the cause.