St. George family killed in house fire remembered at memorial service

St. George family killed in house fire remembered at memorial service

About 400 people gathered in the Town of St. George, N.B., Saturday to say goodbye to a local family that died in a fire in their home on Tuesday.

The memorial service began at 2 p.m. to remember 80-year-old Esther (Spinney) Boyd and her three sons, William (Billy) Boyd, 59, David (Davey) Boyd, 55, and Robert (Robbie) Boyd, 52.

There was silence as the doors opened at St. George Baptist Church, as many people dabbed their teary eyes with tissues as a bagpiper played Amazing Grace.

"I will remember them all — Esther for her courage and perseverance in keeping the family together and providing for the boys, and the boys, they were all incredible individuals," said Bill Pilkington, a neighbour for 36 years.

Firefighters led mourners out of the church following the service, meeting outside in what could best be described as a "group hug."

Truck in David Boyd's name

David Boyd was popular around town and adored by firefighters. He was an honorary member of the fire department. Its new truck — now bearing his name — sat on guard outside the church.

The family died of smoke inhalation when their home went up in flames on Tuesday.

Following investigations by the RCMP and the provincial fire marshal's office, the fire at 25 South St. was determined not to be suspicious in nature, but the cause remains unknown.

Community shaken

The deaths have shaken the tight-knit community of about 1,500 people. The fire department has not dealt with a call since Tuesday as it continues to grieve. Fire departments in nearby areas have responded to calls for service.

"One thing about New Brunswickers, everyone looks out for each other and it's at times like this that people pull together, the whole community pulls together," said local MLA Rick Doucet.

- 'He tugged at your heart': St. George mourns loss of Davey Boyd and family after fire

Following Saturday's service, a public reception was held on Main Street, which was closed to traffic at noon.

A private graveside service for the four was held Saturday morning.

The Boyd family was remembered by New Brunswick Southwest MP Karen Ludwig in the House of Commons on April 13.

The MP also thanked first responders and their community for their support after the tragic loss.