Chez-Nous president 'consoled' to learn fire cause ruled accidental

·2 min read

The president of the board running a Wellington, P.E.I., community care home where a fire displaced 47 residents last week is relieved to hear that the fire has been deemed accidental.

Marcel Richard said it is a comfort to know that building managers and staff did nothing wrong and don't need to blame themselves for any human error.

"We were, like, I guess, consoled to think that at least it's been ruled accidental … it's nothing that we've done," Richard said, such as leaving something flammable next to a source of heat. "You always wonder."

On Wednesday, the provincial Fire Marshal's Office released its conclusion that the Chez-Nous fire was caused by a fault in an electrical circuit in the main building.

Richard told CBC News that work on plans to clean and repair Le Chez-Nous can ramp up now that the investigation is over.

He said some of that cleaning has already started, and all the residents' possessions have been removed from the building.

CBC
CBC

Richard believes it will be months before residents can return to the community care home in the heart of P.E.I.'s Acadian region.

For now, 40 of the displaced residents are still staying at the Mill River Resort, a half-hour drive away, until a suitable longer-term option is found.

Woman wondering where parents will live

Louise Arsenault has a front-row seat as crews tackle the restoration of Le Chez-Nous. She lives right next door.

Arsenault's 91-year-old parents, Leo and Eva, were among the residents displaced by the fire.

She's wondering where they're going to live until the community care home is back up and running.

CBC
CBC

"I know a lot of them, the option of going with their family is an option that's available. It would be available to us too. [We're] definitely not going to put them anywhere they're not going to be comfortable."

They have not lost their home completely. It's going to take a little while, but they will return. — Louise Arsenault

At Mill River Resort, managers opened up a newly renovated wing for the seniors, and made other rooms available for various activities. But there are some accessibility issues, and down the road the resort does have other guests who have booked stays. If the Atlantic bubble reopens, space could be even tighter.

Arsenault told CBC News she appreciates everything the resort has done.

For now, she's waiting for more information about where her mom and dad will be staying if they have to leave the resort, until the repairs are done.

"They have not lost their home completely. It's going to take a little while, but they will return."

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