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'Devastating' house fire in Alberta claims 5 including 3 children

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, around 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Lac Ste. Anne County Fire Services say one person was found dead in the home around 1:30 a.m. Friday morning and after the blaze was fully extinguished around 9 a.m., a more extensive search uncovered four more bodies.

“Loss of life in any situation is horrible for everyone in the community,” said Joe Blakeman, Reeve of Lac Ste. Anne County. “When children are involved, it is just devastating.”

“It’s a small community and it’s definitely a tragedy. This time of year, it’s even worse,” Blakeman added.

“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.”

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.