Skip to main content

The family of five people whose bodies were found in the ruins of a northern Alberta house fire say the victims were a couple and their three grandkids.

They say the children had been living with Marvin and Janet Gibbs, who had been married for seven years.

Marvin Gibbs’ daughter, Mysty Schallock, says the children were her stepsister’s kids.

Emergency crews were called about the blaze in the hamlet of Rochfort Bridge near Mayerthorpe, about 100 kilometres from Edmonton, on Thursday afternoon.

The bodies were found after an extensive search.

Police have said there is nothing to indicate the deaths are criminal.

“They loved each other very much. They were almost never apart,” Schallock said at the scene on Saturday.

Janet Gibbs’ brother, Dale Alexis, remembered the children as happy kids and said it “feels like it’s a dream to lose so many family members, just like that.”

The children’s ages and names have not been released.

Schallock noted her father had been a volunteer firefighter, and she expressed dismay over how such a tragedy could have happened.

“How (is) someone who is well trained and has helped other people out of the same situation (unable) to get himself out?” Schallock asked.

A neighbour, Robert Hook, said that he went to help when the fire broke out.

“Went to the front door. Banged on it. Didn’t hear anything at all. Assumed everybody was gone,” he said.

The office of the fire commissioner is investigating the cause of the fire.

Interact with The Globe