4 children dead after house fire in southwestern Nova Scotia

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Four children are dead after an early-morning house fire at a home in Pubnico Head, N.S., two family members say.

Ervin Olsen said his two great grandchildren died. The two other children that were in the home were not his relations and an adult remains in hospital, he said.

CBC News has confirmed the fatalities with members of two of the families affected.

Réal Boudreau said his son lost a loved one. He said the loss is “devastating.”

“For four people, whether it be a group of children, a group of adults, a mixture of the above — it doesn’t matter. Something like this will devastate a community,” he said.

Fire marshal investigating

Kathy Bourque, a municipal councillor in Pubnico Head, said the tight-knit community is reeling.

Bourque said her husband, a firefighter with East Pubnico Fire Department, returned home from fighting the blaze early this morning and told her the news.

“I’m feeling very sad, very devastated for the family,” she said. “You put yourself in their situation and you can’t imagine what they’re going through.”

Burnt house in Pubnico Head

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire. (Paul Émile d’Entremont/Radio-Canada)

Mid-afternoon, RCMP said the medical examiner’s office and the fire marshal will be investigating but were travelling from Halifax. The scene is about 260 kilometres from the city.

The RCMP’s forensic identification section and major crimes division are also investigating. Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said they haven’t determined whether the fire was suspicious.

Home completely destroyed

Troy Amirault, deputy chief with the West Pubnico Fire Department, said they got a call just after midnight early Sunday morning about the fire on Highway 3 not far from Pubnico, N.S.

He said some people were already out of the home and being treated by paramedics.

Pubnico Head house fire

Fire crews remained at the scene of the fire through the day Sunday. (Kayla Hounsell/CBC)

Crews battled the fire for two hours but the home was completely destroyed, he said. Firefighters are still at the scene.

“The flames were coming out through the roof and through the upstairs windows and through the downstairs windows,” Amirault said.

Grief counsellors at elementary school

The vice principal of Drumlin Heights elementary school in Argyle said there will be grief counsellors at the school Monday morning.

Colleen d’Entremont said two of the children were students.

The Municipality of Argyle and the Red Cross is working to gather food and clothing and find out what else is needed, she said.

“Everybody knows everybody around here so when something tragic like this happens, everybody gets together. They don’t leave anybody without,” said Bourque.

Pubnico Head

Fire crews remain at the scene of a house fire in Pubnico Head, N.S. (Google Earth)

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4 children dead after house fire in southwestern Nova Scotia

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