Pandemic restrictions complicating efforts to plan funerals and memorials for Amhert family that died in fire
COVID-19 restrictions are complicating efforts to plan funerals and memorials for six members of a family who died in a trailer fire in Nova Scotia's Cumberland County on the weekend.
Already thousands of dollars have been raised to support family and friends.
Heartfelt condolences continue to pour in for those grieving the tragic loss of the young Amherst family.
"I'm so sorry that it happened…and this is just devastating," said Amherst resident Marlene Greeno.
Thirty-year old RJ Sears, 28-year-old Michelle Roberston, 11-year-old Madison, eight-year-old Ryder, four-year-old Jaxson, and three-year-old CJ all passed away in their camper trailer on Sunday.
The family of six was enjoying a weekend getaway to celebrate CJ's recent third birthday.
"At a time like this the community needs to come together and, really, the loss of four babies, four children in our community and their parents, its unfathomable," said Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, the MLA for Cumberland North.
Four-year-old Jaxson's father Tyler Allen says his son will be remembered as being wise beyond his years, adding Jaxson was involved in all aspects of his life -- even being the first to carry the cup after Allen's team won the adult hockey league in Amherst.
In a statement to CTV News on Wednesday, Allen also said: "Jaxson made me realize how special life is and how you should treat people day in and day out. Losing him is so devastating but even more because, I swear, he had a heart that was going help change the world."
Multiple fundraising efforts are currently underway to help the families.
"Everyone is rallying together for this family, and its needed," Greeno said.
Smith-McCrossin says the community has raised tens of thousands of dollars raised already.
"It's because this community wants to support this family in absolutely every way possible," she said.
At the family's request, Smith-McCrossin sent an urgent letter to Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Officer as well as the premier today -- asking for an exemption to the gathering limits currently in place due to COVID-19.
"The next step is going to be the hardest," Smith-McCrossin said. "Burying the six people, the family which includes four beautiful children. It's a tragedy for this community and our community needs to be together at this time."
Smith-McCrossin says she hasn't heard back from the province at this time.
RJ sear's parents said Wednesday that all six autopsies have now been completed and the remains will be released to a local funeral home. They say they hope this means they'll soon have answers on what exactly took place that tragic day.