Heroism in deadly northern Manitoba inferno

A band constable in a northern Manitoba community is being hailed a hero after pulling a 16-month girl from a deadly house fire that killed a two-month old infant.

APTN National News
ST. THERESA POINT, Man.–
A band constable in a northern Manitoba community is being hailed a hero after pulling a 16-month girl from a deadly house fire that killed a two-month old infant.

RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Line Karpish said band constable Timothy Mason pushed his way in through a bedroom window to rescue one of two girls trapped in the bedroom of a house on St. Theresa Point First Nation, Man.

Mason, whose clothes caught fire, then tried to rescue the second, younger child but was pushed back by the flames, said Karpish.

“He went out and got the chainsaw and poked a hole through the house and was able to get the two-month-old infant that was still in the home,” said Karpish.

The two-month-old child, however, died from smoke inhalation. The 16-month-old girl was flown to Winnipeg for treatement.

Karpish said Mason was “heroic” in his efforts.

“That he managed to be that quick, to be able to get in, reach out to those two children, is nothing short of heroic, in our view,” said Karpish.

Karpish said the RCMP is working on recognizing Mason for his bravery.

Four older children in the house escaped the blaze, said Karpish.

The fire started while a lone adult, who was taking care of the children, was at a next door neighbour’s house, police said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

St. Theresa Point, a community of about 3,000 people, sits about 500 kilometres north of Winnipeg. It’s an impoverished community accessible only by air and ice road in winter. Many houses there, including the one that burned, have no running water.

Band Chief David McDougall said the reserve’s fire department never responded to the fire.

“People were using snow to try and put out the fire,” he said.

Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.

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