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Canada 'His family was everything': Family mourns death of three children, grandparents in house fire

01:45  10 december  2019
01:45  10 december  2019 Source:   edmontonjournal.com

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Rochfort Bridge — Mysty Schallock remembers her father as the rock of the family . “ His family was everything to him,” she said, describing Marvin Gibbs, one of five people killed when his house burned down overnight on Thursday.

A rural community northwest of Edmonton is shaken following a house fire that killed three children and their grandparents . Their remains weren't recovered until Friday, when police said the fire was not believed to be suspicious. Marvin was 81, his sister-in-law Effie Gibbs said in an interview Saturday.

a group of people posing for the camera: Marvin and Janet Gibbs. (Supplied) Marvin and Janet Gibbs. (Supplied)

ROCHFORT BRIDGE, Alta. — Mysty Schallock remembers her father as the heart of the family.

“His family was everything to him,” she said, describing Marvin Gibbs, one of five people killed when his house burned down overnight on Thursday. “He never left any of us in doubt that if we ever needed him, he’d be there for us.”

As snow fell on the community Saturday, family members shared memories of 81-year-old Gibbs, his wife Janet and their three grandkids, Gary, Landon and Hilary, all under nine years old, who lived with them.

It was a quiet scene in the small hamlet of fewer than 100 people northwest of Edmonton as a backhoe and rubble from the destroyed house occupied the ground where it once stood, and yellow police tape remained wrapped around portions of the garage.

5 people found dead after house fire northwest of Edmonton

  5 people found dead after house fire northwest of Edmonton Two adults and three children were found dead inside a home following a fire in a small hamlet northwest of Edmonton on Thursday. At around 4 p.m., Mayerthorpe RCMP and Lac Ste. Anne County fire crews were called to a residential fire in the community of Rochfort Bridge, a hamlet about 115 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.At around 1:30 a.m. on Friday, RCMP said they were notified by fire crews that one person was found dead inside the home.Once the fire was extinguished at around 9 a.m.

2 adults, 3 children killed in house fire northwest of Edmonton. © Provided by cbc.ca A backhoe sits next to the debris of a Rochfort Bridge home destroyed by fire Thursday. The bodies of three children and two adults was discovered in the wreckage Friday.

2 adults, 3 children killed in house fire northwest of Edmonton. Marvin and Janet had full custody of Janet's daughter's kids, Marvin's sister-in-law A backhoe sits next to the debris of a Rochfort Bridge home destroyed by fire Thursday. The bodies of three children and two adults were discovered in

Toy Story, The Cat in the Hat and Finding Nemo children’s books sat under a tree along with three stuffed animals and a bouquet of flowers on the outskirts of the property, dropped off by closed-knit neighbours mourning the tragedy.

“My dad was a good man, he loved his family, he loved his community, he was the type of person who would have given his shirt off the back to somebody else he figured needed it more,” said Schallock, standing in front of what was once the Gibbs home.

a pile of snow next to a tree:  Three books were placed by a tree next to what’s left of this home destroyed by fire as an investigation is underway after five people, three of them children, were found dead on Friday following a fire in the hamlet of Rochford Bridge, after fire services responded to the fire around 4 p.m. on Thursday, 130 km west of Edmonton, December 7, 2019.© Ed Kaiser Three books were placed by a tree next to what’s left of this home destroyed by fire as an investigation is underway after five people, three of them children, were found dead on Friday following a fire in the hamlet of Rochford Bridge, after fire services responded to the fire around 4 p.m. on Thursday, 130 km west of Edmonton, December 7, 2019.

Marvin Gibbs raised his five children in the community and grew up in the area himself. Neighbour Michelle Trudzik said she used to work for him even before moving across the street and will remember him for his selflessness.

2 adults, 3 children killed in house fire northwest of Edmonton

  2 adults, 3 children killed in house fire northwest of Edmonton Five people, including three children, died in a house fire Thursday in a small hamlet northwest of Edmonton. Firefighters and police were called to a home in Rochfort Bridge at 4 p.m. local time, but despite "extensive efforts" the house was destroyed, RCMP said Friday in a news release.The fire is not believed to be suspicious, said Cpl. Greg Anderson with Mayerthorpe RCMP. A family member has confirmed to CBC News the deceased were Marvin and Janet Gibbs and their three grandchildren.Police have not confirmed the ages or names of the victims. At 1:30 a.m.

2 adults, 3 children killed in house fire northwest of Edmonton. Marvin was 81, his sister-in-law The bodies of three children and two adults were discovered in the wreckage Friday. It was around school dismissal time so they assumed the grandparents may have been out picking up the kids.

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“There is so much you can say about Marvin, oh my God that guy had a heart of gold,” Trudzik said inside her home Saturday morning. “I’ve never ever known Marvin to hold a grudge or be mad at anyone ever. He had the biggest heart … and everyone knew him. He lived for his kids and grandchildren.”

Effie Gibbs, Marvin’s sister-in-law, said Marvin and Janet had full custody of the three kids, children of Janet’s daughter. They had been guardians of the kids for over a year in their Rochfort Bridge home.

Janet and Marvin married in 2012, said Shallock while sharing a photo of the couple, and they could always be found by each other’s side.

“They loved each other very much, they were almost never apart. If you saw dad somewhere, you saw Janet,” she said.

Shallock and her husband looked around the property where the house once stood, and then walked across the snow-covered street for a heartfelt hug with Janet’s youngest son and brother.

'Very happy kids': Family, community mourn 3 children, 2 grandparents killed in house fire

  'Very happy kids': Family, community mourn 3 children, 2 grandparents killed in house fire A senior killed in a house fire along with his wife and her three grandchildren is being remembered by family as a "very good man."The bodies of married couple Marvin and Janet Gibbs and their three grandchildren were discovered in their Rochfort Bridge, Alta. home that was destroyed by the fire on Thursday. Their remains weren't recovered until Friday, when police said the fire was not believed to be suspicious.

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Benedict Alexis, 24, said his mother had a big heart and loved caring for her grandchildren.

“They were happy kids, every time I came here I would … make sure I always bring them cookies. They love their cookies,” said Alexis, overcome with emotion.

Fire crews responded to the house 10 km southeast of Mayerthorpe around 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon. The blaze destroyed the home and neighbours said it was taken down completely by a backhoe Friday.

One person was found dead inside the home around 1:30 a.m. Friday, but the search was delayed until the fire was completely extinguished. The four other occupants were found dead around 9 a.m, RCMP said in a news release Friday afternoon.

Mike Hermann, a longtime neighbour just across the street, said he was one of the first people to respond after he saw flames emerging from the back of the home, Thursday afternoon. He said he immediately called 911 and then banged on the home with several other residents.

Neighbours say Marvin had a wood-fire stove in the back to heat the home.

When Hermann moved into the community 25 years ago, he said Marvin Gibbs was already living there and operated a welding shop on the property. Gibbs also worked as a welder in Edmonton, Hermann recalled, but before that served as the chief of the hamlet’s volunteer firefighters unit.

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The grandparents of three young children who died in a house fire in Bridlington say they are His favourite subjects were said to be dinosaurs and insects. They added that their daughter and her Fire crews and police were called to the cul-de-sac, which is a short walk from the beach, at 2358 GMT on

Schallock said she was stunned after hearing of the blaze and is hoping to get answers soon on the cause.

“There’s a lot of shock and a sense of feeling that it’s unreal,” she said.

RCMP said the investigation is ongoing, but the fire isn’t being ruled as suspicious. An update on the cause of the fire is expected early next week following a report from the Office of the Fire Commissioner, RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Laurel Scott told Postmedia Saturday afternoon.

— With files from Dave Breakenridge, Jeff Labine, Dylan Short and Moira Wyton

duscook@postmedia.com

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'Our crews did everything they could:' 1 dead after house fire in Burnaby .
'Our crews did everything they could:' 1 dead after house fire in BurnabyFire crews battled heavy smoke and flames as they pulled one of the residents out from the top floor of the burning house near Dundas Street and Ranelagh Avenue.

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