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6 dead in Canadian house fires

GREY ISLANDS HARBOUR, Newfoundland, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Two house fires claimed six lives in Canada Saturday, including three children in a small Newfoundland island community, authorities said.

The victims of the fire on Bell Island, Newfoundland, were a 7-year-old girl, her 5-year-old brother and their 5-year-old male cousin, Canwest News Service reported. The fire in the two-story home started about 3:30 a.m. and the home was fully engulfed in flames by the time police officers and volunteer firefighters arrived, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.

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"Some of my members (officers) did first aid but there was nothing that we could do," RCMP Cpl. Trevor O'Keefe said Saturday. "Not a thing."

Three adults in their 30s -- a man, his sister and her fiance -- escaped with a 4-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl who are cousins, Canwest reported.

Meanwhile, police at the scene of a house fire in St. Sophie, Quebec, found three bodies believed to be those of a couple in their 80s and their 50-year-old daughter, the Canadian Broadcast Corp. reported. The cause of the fire, which broke out about 4 a.m., had not been determined.

Six other people died in house fires in Canada in the previous three days -- a 6-year-old girl in a farmhouse fire in Grenfell, Saskatchewan, Friday, and 6-year-old twins and three adults in a house fire in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Wednesday.

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