By CBC News
After a fire destroyed an institution in Pointe-Claire Québec, firefighters investigate.
Leah Gilmore said she felt like she had lost both her parents.
When the funeral home that was located just off Highway 20 at Pointe-Claire (Quebec) caught fire on Wednesday, her parents’ urns could be found there.
Montreal’s Fire Department is looking into the incident, as this independent municipality is located on an island suburb.
Gilmore stated that the smoke smell remained in the air on Thursday morning as the light snow engulfed the remains of the building. This structure dates back around 60 years and has become a local landmark, not only in Pointe-Claire.
This is the one she mentioned to anyone who brought up the subject of funeral homes.
Ken Crawford was brought to tears by the fire. Ken Crawford lost his wife in 1998 and the urn he had kept at the funeral parlor was hers.
“She passed at the beginning December so November is tough for our family,” said he.
A fire started just before 2pm on Wednesday. Seventy firefighters were dispatched to the area. Fire service officials say that the cause has not been determined, although they haven’t ruled out criminal activity.
It’s unclear how long the investigation will last.
Robert Rousseau is a chief of section. He said the amount of damage made it hard to identify the fire.
To determine the true cause of the fire, our investigators will have to eliminate all other possibilities.
The building has been severely damaged, and it is partly collapsed.
The funeral home’s management arrived on the scene early Thursday but declined an interview. Firefighters took the group on a tour, they said. However, the final results of an investigation are needed to fully understand the incident.
Gilmore, Crawford and others hope that their urns still contain the remains of loved ones.
Gilmore’s family planned on visiting her parents’ Urns in the next few days, to specifically leave a Poinsettia. They also wanted to come and say “hello.”
It was always available for everyone to see,” said the woman. It’s gone now.
Tim Thomas, Mayor of Pointe-Claire on Facebook expressed his sadness at the news.
It is a vital part of the community. He added that it has served generations of Pointe-Claire’s citizens in their “time of need.”
His thoughts were with employees, owners and those whose loved-ones’ remains had been housed at the columbarium.
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