‘Continue to pray’: Family mourns children after fatal Thompson fire

Outside of a Thompson home, where a devastating fire left four children dead, is a memorial of stuffed animals, flowers, and candles.

Family is coming in from across Manitoba to mourn the loss of the children in the fatal fire.

“They were all very well-mannered, kind, caring,” said Terry Lynn Thomas, the children’s auntie, to CTV News Winnipeg on Friday.

“We’re all coming together as a whole family.”

The fire broke out at around 8:40 p.m. Wednesday. Shelly Thomas and her partner escaped the basement, and her 13-year-old daughter jumped from a second-floor window.

Four children were sent to hospital in critical condition. Helen Joy Keeper, 10; Leon Keeper Jr., 9; and Rowan Thomas, 4, all died of their injuries. Big Bear Keeper, 7, was being prepared for a transfer to Winnipeg, but died before it happened. The fire happened the night before his birthday.

The family found four toy dinosaurs in the front yard, saying they are keeping them as a reminder of the children who died.

“Continue to pray,” said Pamela Agecoutay, the children’s auntie.

“Especially for my sister and her children.”

Neighbour Elyse Gervais saw the fire happening after putting her son to bed. She said her son was close to Rowan’s age.

“It’s hard to watch,” Gervais said. “I feel terrible for the family.”

The family said the children’s mother, Shelly Thomas, lost her home and everything inside it during the fire. They said Shelly and her daughter are in need of everything from clothing to furniture to a place to live. They are currently getting help from the Red Cross as the family stays in a hotel.

A vigil is being held Saturday at 7 p.m. outside the home, honouring the children who died.

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