A Mistissini woman is homeless after a fire that police say was deliberately set.

The June 10 blaze left the home of Ann Marie Awashish unsalvageable, said Mistissini Police Chief Calvin Blacksmith.

Witnesses saw two youngsters near the house before the fire started. Police had not spoken to the parents of the two children at press time. However, even if the children were found to be responsible, they are too young to be prosecuted (under seven years old).

The Sûreté du Québec detachment in Chibougamau told Blacksmith that they would only send an arson expert if the damage to the house was over $250,000 or if there was a death.

Bradley Mianscum took samples at the “hot spot,” or where the fire started to see if accelerant was used. If it’s concluded that the culprits were in fact the youngsters in question, this evidence will not be sent to investigators.

The police issued a press release shortly thereafter warning residents of the dangers of leaving matches and lighters lying around and making them too easily accessible to children.