CORNWALL, Ontario - Akwesasne has been left reeling after three people, including two children, were killed in a house fire on Sunday morning on the American side of the reserve.
The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, which governs the Canadian side of the territory, issued a press release Monday expressing its sympathies.
"We ask the community to unite and offer emotional support to those most in need, in any capacity you're able to be. Our strengths as a caring, family-driven community will be most needed in the days ahead," said the release.
Jarius Chrisjohn, 46, Javin Chrisjohn, five, and Hunter Chrisjohn, three, all of 184 St. Regis Road, were killed, said Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police.
A pair of other family members escaped from the burning building, police added.
The blaze is under investigation by the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Franklin County Fire Department Cause and Origin Unit and the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control.
The Hogansburg Akwesasne Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the fire, with Mutual Aid assistance from the Bombay Volunteer Fire Department.
"Our Akwesasne Mohawk police were first to respond to the fire despite being outside of their official jurisdiction," reads the MCA press release. "All of our community’s police, ambulance staff and volunteer firefighters will need the community's emotional support this week as they experience their own personal grief."
The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne's Wholistic Health and Wellness Program has counsellors available to meet with any community members in need ( 613-575-2341, ext. 3100).