Grief counsellors are offering support to children at a Nova Scotia elementary school today and investigators are beginning to examine the wreckage of a fatal house fire over the weekend that claimed the lives of four children on the province’s southern tip.
RCMP said forensic identification services are working with the medical examiner and the fire marshal to determine the cause of the fire near Pubnico, N.S., which started early Sunday morning.
It wasn’t safe to examine the scene on Highway 3 on Sunday and investigators want to do so before releasing any details about the victims, RCMP Cpl. Jen Clarke said in a statement.
While police have not confirmed details about how many people died in the fire, they said two people escaped and one of them was injured. Family members of the victims have said four children, who were not all siblings, died.
Firefighters said the house was destroyed within two hours and spent Sunday monitoring and extinguishing hot spots. An excavator was brought in to tear part of the two-storey structure down and the site smouldered through the day.
By Monday morning, grief counsellors were at Drumlin Heights Elementary School in Argyle, N.S., where administrators say two of the victims were students.
Rejanne d’Entremont’s six-year-old daughter was friends with one of the victims, and the children attended each other’s birthday parties.
“We decided to tell her what happened. And she was very upset. She sobbed in my and my fiance’s arms. She keeps saying she’ll miss them but they’re angels up in the sky now,” d’Entremont said Sunday night.
People who live in the community said they are prepared to help the affected families however possible.
Gilles Korent, who lives near the home, saw the blowing smoke and the emergency responders on Sunday morning.
“It’s a really tight community, so I think the people will get together and really deal with it, and really do what it takes to help the families.”
Janine Muise, who works with the Canadian Red Cross, said she met with an affected family member on Sunday to assess people’s needs. She recommended people who want to help contact local community organizations to find out what is needed.
“It’s horrific thing that has happened, an event in…