Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/4/2012 (3512 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Flames tore through a house on Sandy Bay First Nation on Friday night, claiming the life of a young man trapped inside the inferno.
As word of the blaze spread across the community, family searched for missing David Houle, 22.
Hours later, his body was discovered in the wreckage of the house he was visiting.
Sandy Bay Chief Irvin McIvor said Sunday Houle was an active member of the Ojibway First Nation and often volunteered at social events.
"It's really sad to see something like that happen so tragically," he said, describing a community in mourning.
Sandy Bay is located along the western shore of Lake Manitoba, about 180 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.
Even worse, trauma like this has struck the reserve before. In 2009, two children -- nine-year-old Hope Richard and five-year-old Tristan Mousseau -- died in separate house blazes three months apart.
In the wake of those tragedies, Russell Beaulieu, Sandy Bay's then chief, called on the federal government to ramp up efforts to replace and repair dilapidated, overcrowded housing on First Nations -- much of which lacks modern fire protection.
At the time, about 200 families on Sandy Bay First Nation were waiting for a new home and the First Nation yearned for new firefighting equipment to keep the community safe.
Three years later, little has changed. The community's volunteer fire department is saddled with an aging fire truck but funding to upgrade firefighting service has not been forthcoming, the chief said.
And although details of the blaze are still being determined, the house that caught fire on Friday was "very, very old," McIvor said.
"Some of these houses are more or less like paper. They go up (in flames) pretty quick," he said.
Melissa Martin reports and opines for the Winnipeg Free Press.