02/20/2015 11:39 EST | Updated 04/22/2015 05:59 EDT

Makwa Sahgaiehcan's overdue fire services bill paid, Loon Lake fire chief says

The Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation has paid an overdue bill for past fire services provided by the village of Loon Lake, the chief of the volunteer fire department says.

According to information from the village, which is adjacent to the First Nation, the amount owing was approximately $3,400 and had been due for several months. The communities had an agreement that invoices would be paid within one month of billing.

"It's good that they paid their bill," Larry Heon, chief of Loon Lake's fire service, said Friday. "But they should have paid it six months ago and we wouldn't be going through this right now."

The unpaid bill was noted in correspondence to the First Nation dated Jan. 30, 2015. In that letter, the fire department said it would no longer respond to any fires until its account was paid. 

On Feb. 17, an early morning house fire broke out on the reserve. RCMP responded to the emergency call and said when officers arrived they encountered a house full of flames. They noted there was no response from fire crews.

Two children, a one-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy, died in the fire.

The chief of Makwa Sahgaiehcan said later that he only recently came to know of the status of the account with Loon Lake.

The two communities have since said they will negotiate a new fire services agreement.

In the meantime, the village will provide fire services to the reserve.