02/25/2015 09:36 EST | Updated 04/27/2015 05:59 EDT

Farmhouse fire in rural Manitoba claims a number of lives

A number of people have died in a fire that destroyed a farmhouse in rural Manitoba.

The overnight fire was near the community of Kane, in the rural municipality of Morris.

Morris Reeve Ralph Groening, Morris told CBC News he is not certain how many people died, but that a family of two adults and seven or eight children lived in the home.

"I can tell you it will be more than one. We don't know the number [but] there is a number of fatalities," he said, adding he didn't know the family.

"The fire department gave me a call at 2 a.m. to provide us with basic info about the fire. They were doing the very best to save the home and residents, but unfortunately that was not possible."

Groening added that the situation amounts to a "huge tragedy" that requires giving help to the family and the crew charged with fighting the blaze.

"You need to be there for the family, the firefighters who attended the scene. It will be very very difficult for them. ... there is a whole range of emotions and reactions that you feel at a time like this."