People left homeless by weekend fire in Dieppe struggling to find accommodations
DIEPPE, N.B. -- A weekend fire in Dieppe, N.B., has left more than 60 people without a place to call home.
"It's devastating," said tenant Taha Maarous. "You think you'll be losing everything. Mentally it was exhausting."
Flames ripped through a four-storey apartment building in Dieppe late Saturday night. No one was injured, but now more than 60 tenants are left picking up the pieces of their former homes.
"It was a fast-moving fire," said Dieppe District Fire Chief Marc Cormier. "Once it got into the attic it was very difficult to get to it, but once we were set up, it took approximately 30 minutes to control it."
Maarous lived on the second floor of the building. He says he and the other tenants are still in shock.
"It's tough. We had kids in this building, we had people coming from outside the province so no family around," Maarous said. "At one point the Red Cross help will definitely end, so what's next?"
The Red Cross is currently assisting 62 people from the building with emergency supplies and lodging, but it's a task made even more difficult by the pandemic.
"We're trying to go with commercial accommodations like hotels and stuff like that, and we're trying as much as we can to do our responses remotely," said Reda Debbagh of the Red Cross.
With much of the building heavily damaged by the fire, many of the tenants say they're looking for a new place to call home.
"People now are asking and they're at the bottom of the waiting list and there's no chance of getting anything any time soon," said Maarous.
But Maarous says there is one silver lining around the devastating night.
"The positive thing about all of this is that no one got injured," Maarous said."The material stuff we'll get it back, we'll evaluate the damages, but other than that, at least we know, no one got hurt."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.