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Fire destroys retirement home in Canada

Just a horrifying story out of Canada, at least 8 people are dead after a fire that ripped through a retirement home in Quebec, Canada.
 Officials fear that number could climb as high as 32.

The suffering the fire caused can be felt all over l'isle Verte.
This 90 year-old managed to make it out and down the stairs without her walker.

Nelida Pettigrew is only now learning a woman she used to eat with didn't survive.
    "il y a d'autres..there are others that died too, she says. I saw them. It was horrible but I'm okay."

For the first two days, Police refused to say for certain how many were missing.
    Hoping some had been away? In hospital or with a friend?The night of the fire.

Now they say 8 are confirmed dead?And for the rest..there's little hope.
    "I think we can all agree here today that the 24 people missing we can assume the worst. But we're not going to announce any deaths until we've recovered the remains."

Authorities have brought in de-icing equipment, to melt ice they now say is up to sixty centimeters thick in some areas.

The fire chief says the work has been grueling?

Some of the volunteer firefighters are working in the place a loved one died.
    "Even if you try to go to sleep, you can't, says Yvan Charron. You don't go to sleep right away. You analyze everything."

He insists those who need counseling will get it.
Authorities continue to investigate the cause.

Radio-Canada say a source tells them that one resident asked to go out for a cigarette shortly before the fire started, but was refused.

Police say that's just one hypothesis. "We're still interviewing people and we can't just go on one or two facts to state the cause of something of this magnitude. And with any investigation, we're going to collect all the facts before coming to a conclusion."

The local priest is planning a service tomorrow, He says he hopes the coming together will provide comfort.
    And give those who lost a family member a chance to express their suffering.