Donations are being accepted at the Sandy Lake band office for 11 community members who lost everything in an April 26 house fire.
"The house was completely burnt," said Sandy Lake Counc. Rusty Fiddler. "They just lost everything. They couldn't get anything when the fire started. They tried to get some of their belongings but there was no chance of going back there because the fire picked up so fast - they said within five minutes after they go out."
Two of the six children who escaped from the home had burns from drops of melting plastic on their arms, Fiddler said.
"That's how quick it went," Fiddler said. "They just got out through a window. When they seal the windows with plastic, they said it took some time to open it."
The family members are accepting any kinds of donations, Fiddler said, explaining that the five adults and six children are now living with relatives throughout the community and have already received some clothing, shoes and kitchen utensils.
"They lost their shoes too," Fiddler said. "They were sleeping when it happened."
The fire occurred at about 4 a.m. in an area of the community between the R.C. side and the Old Sawmill.
No injuries were reported, but the house and two vehicles that were parked outside the home have been damaged.
The cause of the fire and total amount of damage are still unknown, but the matter is currently under investigation by the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service.
"We feel for the family with the loss they had," Fiddler said. "Any donations to them (would be) very good."
Anyone who has any information about the fire are urged to call the NAPS Sandy Lake Detachment at 807-774-4471 or report anonymously to CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477) or online at www.tipshelp.com.
When I look up at the clear blue sky these days I am missing something. For about a year now during this wretched pandemic I have hardly seen any contrails...