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Family loses everything in Christmas fire

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OPP detachments in Fort Frances, Kenora, Red Lake, and Dryden have set up drop boxes so people can help out a Grassy Narrows family which had their house and all their possessions wiped out by fire Christmas Day.

Around 1 a.m. on Christmas Day, Kenora OPP were called to the home of Clara Kokopenace to find it completely engulfed in flames. Two adults, a 14-year-old girl, and two boys, aged five and six, were inside at the time of the fire and barely escaped the inferno

The Grassy Narrows fire department arrived shortly after the police and extinguished the blaze but all of the family’s possessions were destroyed.

The residence also was not insured, police noted.

Police and fire officials believe the fire started due to a hot stovepipe touching insulation in the ceiling.

Spare household items or clothing can be dropped off at any of the participating OPP detachments. Monetary donations can be made at any CIBC branch in the name of the Clara Kokopenace family.

In other news, a 33-year-old Shoal Lake First Nations woman was arrested and charged with assault with a weapon after an incident Christmas Day.

Police and ambulance were called to a Shoal Lake residence around 3:40 a.m. in response to a call that a male subject was bleeding from the head.

Police investigation revealed the 37-year-old victim had received a two to three-inch cut on the forehead from a sharp object.

The female was taken into custody at the Kenora OPP detachment until a “show cause” hearing scheduled for today.

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