NAIN, N.L. — The tragic deaths of two young children and their grandfather in a raging house fire have devastated a small community in eastern Labrador.
RCMP said the victims — a 50-year-old man and two children, aged two and four — were unable to escape the flames that also burned a second, unoccupied home to the ground on Saturday.
“When members arrived, they found a woman sitting on the front steps. She had exited the house which was fully engulfed,” said Cpl. Steve Conohan.
“It’s my understanding that she was the one that indicated to the firefighters and the RCMP that there were persons inside.”
The woman, who Conohan said was the victim’s wife and the children’s grandmother, was treated for smoke inhalation and non-life-threatening injuries.
No names were released.
A volunteer fire crew were called to the scene around 8 p.m., but the intensity of the flames prevented rescue despite repeated attempts to get inside the burning home.
Conohan said the fire has hit the people of the small community of Nain pretty hard.
“The impact is really large. It’s devastating when you lose loved ones, especially from the same family.”
Mary White, a councillor in Nain, said the close-knit community of 1,200 was reeling from the tragedy.
“The atmosphere in the community is really sombre, it’s really sad,” she said Sunday.
“I just went to the store today, and even in the store it was quiet. It’s not usually like that. Everybody just knew the family and their hearts just go out to them.”
White said the youngsters lived in the home with their parents and the grandparents.
“A mother to lose her two kids and a wife to lose her husband, it’s really sad.”
Conohan said crews remained on the scene Sunday morning to damp down hot spots.
Members of the RCMP’s forensic unit and the fire marshal’s office were on their way to the remote community to begin their investigation.
It was the second major tragedy to hit a Newfoundland community in recent days.
Searchers recovered the bodies of a man and two young brothers off Twillingate a week ago after their boat sank in choppy water.
The body of a second man had not been found as of Sunday.