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Small Quebec town prepares to mourn 32 seniors killed in fire
ByREUTERS
January 26, 2014 07:17

L'ISLE-VERTE, Quebec - The small grief-struck Quebec town of L'Isle-Verte will hold a memorial service on Sunday for the 32 people who died in a massive fire that engulfed a three-story wooden residence for seniors.

Despite media reports alleging a cigarette ignited the blaze early on Thursday, police say they still do not know the cause of what appears be Canada's second-most deadly disaster in a retirement home.



Ten bodies have been recovered and 22 people are still missing in the frozen ruins of the Residence du Havre in L'Isle-Verte, a town of 1,500 people on the St. Lawrence River northeast of Quebec City and 65 km (40 miles) north of Maine.

The memorial service, due to start at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT), will be led by local priest Gilles Frigon. He said the church wanted to help rebuild the hearts of the community.

"We celebrate with them but when they suffer, we suffer," he told reporters tearfully on Saturday. A larger public mass is due to be held in the town on Feb. 1.

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