LACHUTE – The call came in to the Lachute fire department just past 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.
When firefighters arrived on the scene at Centre d’Entraide d’Argenteuil on Princesse Street, half of the building was up in flames.
They had the fire under control within an hour.
Now, the food bank says it’s struggling to get back on its feet after the devastating fire.
“No matter what the reason of the fire, no one will bring us down,” said Scott Pearce, Prefect of the MRC of Argenteuil and Mayor of Gore.
“Spread the word, we’re still alive.”
The organization is asking the public for monetary donations, since it cannot take in other kinds of donations, such as canned food or clothes, for the time being.
Around 1700 people get support from the centre each month.
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“It’s not one English and one French community, its a community,” said Pearce.
Witnesses say the fire started outside of the Centre d’Entraide d’Argenteuil, but quickly spread through the building.
No one was inside at the time; no one was injured.
“There were sparks and cinders flying up in the air,” said Marcus Nerenberg who lives across the street from the centre.
“The biggest fear I had was that one of them might ignite my house.”
By the time it was over, all that was left was an empty shell.
“I would think that the building is a complete loss,” said Alain St-Jacques of the Lachute Fire Service.
The building was home to a Centraide facility, getting ready to supply underprivileged children with back-to-school gear.
A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of the blaze.
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