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Fire at Kingsclear First Nation displaces 10, including pregnant woman

An early-morning fire that destroyed a duplex in the First Nation community of Kingsclear, west of Fredericton, sent one man to hospital for smoke inhalation Friday and displaced nine other people, says the Canadian Red Cross.

The duplex on Church Street in Kingclear First Nation sustained significant damage in the fire reported Friday around 6:30 a.m. (Cassidy Chisholm/CBC)

An early-morning fire that destroyed a duplex in the First Nation community of Kingsclear, west of Fredericton, sent one man to hospital for smoke inhalation Friday and displaced nine other people, says the Canadian Red Cross.

The fire on Church Street started around 6:30 a.m., said Red Cross spokesperson Dan Bedell. 

An expectant couple with five children ranging in age from two to 10 were among those forced out of the building by the blaze, he said in a news release.

A man, woman and her son lived in the other side of the two-storey structure.

Dog dies in fire

There were no other serious injuries, but the pregnant woman and one child were checked over at the hospital as a precaution, said Bedell. A pet dog was also lost in the fire.

The Kingsclear band council is providing emergency lodging, and Canadian Red Cross volunteers have arranged emergency purchases, such as food and clothing, for all 10 individuals, he said. 

“When we arrived, we met with the chief and they let us know that there is going to be a lodge available to everybody who was involved there on the First Nations community,” said Elizabeth Hendrick, the emergency management co-ordinator for central New Brunswick with the Red Cross. 

“We were so pleased the community really rallied behind the families so early in the morning already.”

The Upper Kingsclear Fire Department arrived around 6:30 a.m. to find flames coming out the doors and windows of the building.

Murray Crouse, the fire chief of the Upper Kingsclear Fire Department, said it took about an hour to get the fire under control. (CBC News)

“We got it knocked down fairly quick and then continued on the fight until we got it down where it was under control, where we could just go in and get the hot spots,” said fire Chief Murray Crouse. 

Crouse said 15 firefighters were on the scene and it took about an hour to get the fire under control. 

“It was stubborn,” Crouse said. It got into the roof. …Then you have to start pulling ceilings and it’s just a lot of work, a lot of work.”

The duplex is across the road from an elementary school, and Crouse said he’d like to see it torn down.

“Right now, it could be a hazard to children and the kids start school here in a couple weeks time,” he said.

“It’s an eyesore for them and we don’t want anyone to get hurt, obviously.”

The fire marshal is looking into the cause of the fire.

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