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K.I. First Nation declares state of emergency

First Nation community struggling to deal with emotional trauma as result of home fire that claimed five lives
Four children and an adult were killed in a fire at a Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation home.

KITCHENUHMAYKOOSIB INNINUWUG FIRST NATION, Ont. -- A fire that ravaged a home in a First Nations community and claimed the lives of five people has led the community declaring a state of emergency.

Kitchenuhmatkoosib Inninuwug Chief Donny Morris says via written statement, the tragedy has had a devastating impact on the community.

“We are feeling the crushing weight of this tragedy in our community and with our people," he said.

"The continuing effects require external support and financial assistance."

Kitchenuhmatkoosib Inninuwug is located 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, and has only one in-clinic crisis, and lacks the resources to support the mental health needs of the community. Morris says the vulnerable and younger population are reacting to the trauma with thoughts of suicide.

"There are too many people to watch and not enough manpower to watch them."

Morris says he's reached out to other First Nations, as well as federal and provincial government representatives, but it is not enough.

The fire claimed the lives of Geraldine Chapman, 47, and her daughter, six-year-old Shyra Shadara Taylor Bella Chapman, as well as foster children Angel Kenisha McKay, 12, Karl Jovon Cutfeet, nine, and Hailey Ocean Jenna Chapman, seven.