'It's devastating:' Five dead, including children, in Alberta house fire

ROCHFORT BRIDGE, Alta. — Two adults and three children died in a house fire northwest of Edmonton, RCMP said Friday.

Emergency crews were called about the blaze in the hamlet of Rochfort Bridge near Mayerthorpe, about 100 kilometres from the Alberta capital, on Thursday afternoon.

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One person was found dead in the home and, following a more extensive search, the other bodies were discovered, police said.

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine said there is nothing to indicate the deaths are criminal.

No names have been released, but resident Michelle Trudzic said it was a family that died in the fire.

Trudzic, who could see the burning building from her house, said one of the victims had lived in the hamlet his whole life.

"It's devastating," Trudzic said.

"Everyone is trying to wrap their head around what happened and why."

She commended firefighters for containing the fire, which she said did not damage any other homes.

Joe Blakeman, reeve of Lac Ste. Anne County, said authorities were on scene until Friday afternoon.

"It's a small community and it's definitely a tragedy. This time of year, it's even worse," Blakeman said.

"I feel for the family, the people in the community and our first responders. It's going to be another blow to our community that we will just have to deal with."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Dec. 6, 2019.

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