Fire Fighting in Canada

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Manitoba reserve fire inquest wraps up

Dec. 18, 2014, Winnipeg - An inquest into two fatal fires at homes on northern Manitoba reserves will wrap up today with testimony from the province's fire commissioner.

The fires happened in 2011 at St. Theresa Point and God's Lake Narrows.

In one, five children escaped but a two-month-old baby died.

The second fire killed Demus James and his two young grandchildren.

The inquest has heard that neither reserve had a working fire  truck.

St. Theresa's Point had a truck, but it was sitting broken in a garage and no one knew where the keys were.

Although St. Theresa's Point now has a fire truck, the inquest heard it had to buy a used one which ate up the band's entire 70-thousand-dollar annual fire protection budget.

Ivan Mason, emergency services officer for Island Lakes Tribal Council, says the reserve is having trouble paying for the expensive maintenance costs.

December 18, 2014
By The Canadian Press