The community of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation in Ontario has released the names of the mother and four children who died in a house fire May 2.
Killed were Geraldine Chapman, 47, along with her six year old daughter Shyra Shadara Taylor Bella Chapman and three foster children, Angel Kenisha Mckay, 12, Karl Jovon Cutfeet, 9, and Hailey Ocean Jenna Chapman, 7
“Our community is grief stricken and are doing our best to provide support to the family and all affected by this horrific tragedy,” said Chief Donny Morris. “Geraldine raised her adopted children as her very own with the mutual consent of the three families involved and that the community of Kitchinuhmaykoosib Inninuwug recognized these children as her own.
“It is important to understand, however, that this devastating tragedy has directly impacted four families and, as a result, extends throughout the community as a whole.”
KI, or Big Trout Lake as it’s also known, is a fly-in community 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ont., with a population of approximately 1,300.
According to Morris, Chapman’s 19-year-old daughter was away on a medical trip when the fire broke out.
The Ontario coroner’s office has a team in the community to investigate the cause of the blaze.
No details have been released.
Morris said in the statement that the remains of the family have been removed from the scene and an autopsy will be performed in Toronto.
A team from the Ontario Provincial Police is also investigating the cause.
“The family and community is grateful for the outpouring of support they have received,” said Morris in the statement. “At this time the cause of the blaze is still undetermined.
“Our focus right now is on helping the family and our community cope. We will address the direct and underlying causes of the fire once we have dealt with the community crisis at hand. We ask that all organizations, government and media respect our wishes in this regard.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been started at: https://www.gofundme.com/tragic-fire-in-ki