'Very, very sad': Three children, two adults dead after house fire near Mayerthorpe
EDMONTON -- Three children and two adults died in a house fire northwest of Edmonton Thursday.
Firefighters and police responded to a fire in Rochfort Bridge, a community approximately 130 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, at approximately 4 p.m. The home was destroyed in the fire, police said.
On Friday at 1:30 a.m., Lac Ste. Anne County Fire Services told Mayerthorpe RCMP one person had been found dead, and after a more extensive search at 9 a.m., four more bodies were located.
RCMP said the victims are believed to be three children and two adults.
'Very nice people'
RCMP have not confirmed the identity of the victims, but neighbours tell CTV News Edmonton Marvin Gibbs, his wife Janet and her three grandchildren died in the fire.
"Very, very nice people," neighbour Kathrina Wurz said. "Very down-to-earth people."
Wurz was home when the fire broke out. She heard sirens and says fire trucks arrived first, followed by police and EMS.
"The black smoke that come out of that house, you would've thought there were tires burning," Wurz said. "And that was a good hour that black smoke come out."
Mike Hermann said: "I went around the side and I yelled Marvin Gibbs' name...we couldn't get no response."
The Reeve of Lac Ste. Anne County, Joe Blakeman, said, "loss of life in any situation is horrible for everyone in the community. When children are involved, it is just devastating."
RCMP Cpl. Deanna Fontaine told CTV News Edmonton the fatal fire has also been hard on police.
"It's tragic…but our condolences go out to the families of those who've passed. This is a tough one."
The fire is not believed to be suspicious, but it remains under investigation, police said.
The RCMP is providing support to the victim's families and responding officers.