Sydney funeral home gives up licence after fire guts building
Service Nova Scotia says it has received a letter from Chant's Funeral Home in Sydney saying they're surrendering their license.
The owner of the funeral home says families have nothing to be concerned about, however, even though there is extensive damage from a fire on Feb. 2.
“This is our chapel area, which is totally destroyed,” said owner Sheldon Chant.
Caskets, chairs, and just about everything else is unsalvageable after an extensive fire in which flames shot through the roof.
Chant says his business had been experiencing power surges in the weeks prior, but how the fire started remains a mystery.
“It has been deemed suspicious, but arson is not even out there yet,” he said.
In the days following the fire Service Nova Scotia, which oversees funeral homes, temporarily suspended the funeral home's license because they no longer met the minimum requirements.
Now, the department says Chants are giving up their license permanently.
“We received a letter from Chants Funeral Home's lawyer on Feb. 11 indicating they wanted to surrender their funeral home license,” said Rodger Gregg.
Before Chant's can do that though, they need to give 30 days’ notice to the registrar, and to anyone that may have a pre-arranged contract with them.
“On the suspension of the license, once we knew the building wasn't salvageable, I surrendered the license,” Chant said. “There's no sense in having a license if we don't have a building.”
Gregg, the registrar of cemetery and funeral services, says he's working with Chant to make sure they meet the requirements and is urging anyone with funeral arrangements to contact them.
“We can say right now, definitively, the funeral home does not hold any money in trust, so if you gave money to the funeral home for a trust funded funeral plan, you should reach out to us directly, so you can get a refund because that money would be at risk,” Gregg said.
But Chant says none of their customers should be concerned.
“We have more than enough in receivables. We have more than enough assets and that kind of thing in order to compensate anyone or to make sure everyone is taken care of,” Chant said.
So, as Chant continues to try and piece this situation together, he says staff are still taking calls and will assist anyone anyway they can.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.