Police and firefighters survey the scene Tuesday morning following a house fire on the Sugar Cane Reserve. Tara Sprickerhoff photo

Two B.C. First Nation communities mourning loss of teen in reserve house fire

Williams Lake First Nation chief releases statement on death of teen

Two First Nations communities in the Cariboo Chilcotin are grieving the loss of a teenager killed in a house fire on the Sugar Cane Reserve near Williams Lake in the morning on Jan. 9.

“Our council and our community are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” said Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Ann Louie in a press release issued Thursday morning.

Louie said the victim was not a member of the Williams Lake Indian Band but was a member of a neighbouring First Nations community.

“We have already reached out to that community to express our deepest condolences for their loss.”

The name and identity of the youth has not been released, or what led to the fire.

Investigations are pending by both the RCMP and the fire department.

“We ask that the public respect the privacy of the family and the integrity of the ongoing investigations. If there are further details that we can disclose we will do so at the earliest opportunity.”

Louie had declined comment to the Tribune Wednesday.

The home that burned was a mobile home, permanently situated on a piece of land overlooking much of the reserve.

The 150 Mile Fire Department responded to the blaze Tuesday morning, and RCMP and the Williams Lake Fire Department were also dispatched to the fire around 7:30 a.m.

By 10 a.m. the fire was mostly extinguished

The BC Coroners Service said the youth was in his late teens.

Read more: Teenager dies in Sugar Cane fire, confirms BC Coroners Service