The Kwanlin Dun community is reeling from two traumatic incidents over the weekend.
Police are investigating the death of Allan Waugh, a 69-year-old man who was found dead in his home on Friday morning. Foul play is suspected in his death, but there is no danger to the public, police said.
And on Saturday night, a home in the McIntyre Subdivision was gutted by what appears to be a deliberately set house fire, leaving between four and eight people without shelter.
When police arrived to the fire scene around midnight, the house was already engulfed in flames. A vehicle in the driveway was also destroyed, but everyone managed to get out safely and no one was hurt.
“It’s been an extremely difficult weekend for everyone,” said Kwanlin Dun Chief Doris Bill.
The victims of the house fire lost everything in the blaze.
“In some cases people were pulled from the house without their shoes. They lost absolutely everything,” Bill said.
The RCMP is investigating the inferno, which has been deemed “suspicious.”
In the meantime, the Kwanlin Dun government is coordinating a donation drive to help the fire victims replace what they lost. Donations can be dropped off at the community’s potlatch house on McIntyre Drive.
“We’re providing support for family. We’ve looked at emergency housing and we’re identifying a place for them to go in the meantime. This is the first house fire we have had where we’ve lost a house in the community,” Bill said.
The death of Allan Waugh is also hitting the community hard, she said.
“We’re dealing with a lot of trauma right now. It’s a very sensitive situation,” Bill said.
“We’re providing counseling and support wherever it’s needed. It’s really affected a lot of people, including our young people. Some of them were really traumatized by this,” she said.
In a release, the RCMP said they believe that some members of the community still have information about Waugh’s death they have not brought forward. Bill urged anyone with anything that could help to come forward either to the First Nation government or the RCMP. The government also held a community meeting Monday night with the RCMP to address the issue.
“Our concern is community safety at this point. We’re urging anyone if they have information to please come forward. They can bring it to our justice director, Jeanie Dendys, or the RCMP,” Bill said.
Yukon’s last homicide was in August 2010.
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