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Saulteaux First Nation mourns loss of woman in house fire

The death of Claudia Thomas is 'pretty hard on everybody,' said Coun. Dolphus Moccasin from Saulteaux First Nation

SAULTEAUX FIRST NATION– Residents of Saulteaux First Nation are grieving after a woman was killed in a house fire Nov. 17.

The death of 39-year-old Claudia Ann Thomas is “pretty hard on everybody,” said Coun. Dolphus Moccasin from Saulteaux First Nation on Nov. 26.

He said they had one fire truck and six volunteer firefighters respond, as well as approximately 10 community members who helped battle the blaze.

Coun. Moccasin said a fire investigator from Regina attended and the cause of the fire was “narrowed down to likely a candle.”

Saskatchewan RCMP were a part of the investigation and the fire isn’t considered suspicious.

"At this time the fire is not believed to be suspicious," said Mandy Maier, Saskatchewan RCMP Media Relations on Nov. 24.

Saskatchewan Coroner’s Service will review the cause of the fire with the fire department, but they don’t consider Thomas' death suspicious.

“The police are not treating the death as suspicious,” said Margherita Vittorelli, spokesperson for Saskatchewan Coroner’s Service on Nov. 24.

According to Claudia Thomas’ obituary she left behind seven children.

Coun. Moccassin said by the time the firefighters reached the fire the children were out of the house. He would like to thank the firefighters and all the people from the community who responded to help.

Saulteaux First Nation has approximately 604 band members living on the reserve and is located near the resort Village of Cochin.