Fire destroys reconstructed historic longhouse structure

SIX NATIONS — A massive fire engulfed the longhouse near Kayanase on Hwy 54 Friday, completely leveling the structure.

Upon Six Nations firefighters arriving at the scene, the Ogwehoweh Skills and Trades Training Centre Longhouse was engulfed in flames.

Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire shortly after arriving; however, the damage to the Longhouse was extensive. No one was injured in the blaze, as there were no staff or visitors present at the time. SNFES said that due to the extent of the damage, it will be difficult to determine the cause of the fire at this time. Grand River Employment and Training Inc. will continue to work with SNFES and Six Nations Police as the investigation continues.

“I want to thank the community for their outpouring of support at this difficult time,” said Erin Monture, CEO of Business Opportunities for Grand River Employment and Training Inc. “We are thankful that nobody was harmed, and we are also grateful to Six Nations Fire and Emergency Services, Six Nations Police, and Six Nations Paramedic Services for their timely response. Although this is an unfortunate situation, we are already committed to continuing the important work of keeping our culture and traditions alive.”

Chief Mark Hill, who visited the scene, said, “I was devastated to hear of the fire at the GRETI/OSTTC Longhouse. This was a key part of our community’s efforts to preserve our traditions and teachings for coming generations. Our community knows how to rebuild, and it is important everyone knows how much we value our history and our common culture.”

Six Nations of the Grand River and Grand River Employment and Training Inc. thanked the community for its overwhelming support and everyone who has reached out to express their sympathy. SNGR and GRETI also commended local fire, police, and paramedics for their quick response and thanked them for their bravery.

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