Family asking for help after fire

A Couchiching First Nation family is looking for a little help after their home was severely damaged in an early-morning fire Nov. 14.
“The whole roof is gone. The insulation fell through and landed on everything,” said Desiree Alfred, who fled the trailer along with her husband, Cory Morrisseau, and four-year-old son, Keenan.
Alfred said the family’s dog alerted them to a fire around 3 a.m. Having no phone, they went to the Treaty #3 police station and had it call the fire department.
Ten firefighters with the Couchiching Volunteer Fire Department and four from the Fort Frances Fire Department responded to the blaze, remaining at the scene until 6:30 a.m.
They managed to keep the fire contained to the roof.
Capt. Christine Jourdain of the Couchiching Volunteer Fire Department said this morning that with the help of Fort Frances firefighter Frank Sheppard, it was determined the fire started in the roof as the result of an electrical problem.
She noted it was fortunate the dog alerted the family of the danger since any smoke detectors in the home would not have detected a fire burning above them.
Capt. Jourdain added she greatly appreciated the assistance from the Fort Frances Fire Department and looked forward to future co-operation under the mutual aid agreement.
Meanwhile, Alfred said the family was able to salvage some items from the home, including a set of tables and chairs, some toys, a computer, and television.
She noted the family first stayed in hotel for a few nights and most recently has been with her in-laws.
Alfred said they have been very fortunate to receive some financial aid so far from her workplaces (the Fort Frances Tribal Area Health Authority and Gizhewaadiziwin Access Centre), which each gave them about $1,000 in clothes and household appliances to get back on their feet.
But the highest priority right now is cash donations to be used for first and last month’s rent for a new place to live. A fridge, stove, washer, and dryer would be on the list next.
Alfred can be reached at 274-0201.
A benefit dinner for the family is being held Thursday, Dec. 2 at the Couchiching Bingo Palace starting at 5 p.m. There’s a minimum donation of $5 per plate.
For more info, or to donate food, call the health authority at 274-2042.