N.B. community grieves after 18-month-old girl dies in house fire
PENNFIELD, N.B. -- There's a sense of grief in southwest New Brunswick following a devastating weekend fire that tore through a home and claimed the life of an 18-month-old girl.
Little remains of the family home on Highway 175 after a fire broke out around 1 a.m. Sunday and ripped through the residence.
"When we arrived on scene we sent a first team right in, fire was showing on the back side of the house," said Eastern Charlotte Regional Fire Chief Dale Shaw.
While the parents and two other children made it out of the home OK, firefighters were told there was still a person inside.
"We didn't know until we got on scene it was an 18-month-old," Shaw said. "The boys tried to get in, and we had another team come right in behind with an attack line and they were forced back in the hallway because of the flames. The fire was too intense."
The 18-month-old girl was located in a bedroom at the back of the house. RCMP say she was pronounced dead at the scene.
"I know that everyone extends their most sincere sympathies to the family and the family members," said Blacks Harbour Mayor Terry James.
James also sends her thoughts and prayers to the first responders who attended the scene.
Shaw says his firefighters appear to be holding up well, but they will bring in counsellors if needed.
"I know in my experience, for 41 years in the fire service, it's my first time having to deal with an infant, a child that young in a fire," Shaw said. "It does take its toll. It makes you think of your grandkids, and all that stuff."
The investigation into the fire is a joint investigation between the New Brunswick RCMP, the provincial coroner's office, along with the fire marshal.
Police say an autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of the girl's death.