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‘It’s just heartbreaking’: Amherst, Nova Scotia devastated after family of six dies in fire


AMHERST, NS – Residents of Amherst, Nova Scotia are in mourning after a family of six was killed in a caravan fire on Sunday night.

Residents said the loss of the family of two adults and four children was unimaginable.

“To think of a family completely burned out, four small children, it’s just heartbreaking,” said David Kogon, mayor of Amherst.

The deceased family members in the trailer were identified on Monday as RJ Sears, 30, Michelle Robertson, 28, Colin, three, Jaxson, four, Robert, eight. and Madison, 11.

According to a Facebook post from the City of Amherst and Cumberland North MPP Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, a memorial has been set up in Victoria Square where people can come to pay their respects to the victims.

“It hits really hard,” Kogon said. “Things are pretty bad when it’s an adult, but when it’s kids it’s a tenfold increase in sadness and devastation. Nobody wants to face it.”

Smith-McCrossin said the news was devastating in a tight-knit city.

“You are either a parent or a friend and every time there is the loss of a child, in this community we have just lost four children, it hits home,” said Smith-McCrossin.

Three of the four lost children attended Cumberland North Academy in Amherst.

The Chignecto-Central Regional Education Center confirmed the information in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

In the Twitter post, the organization said: “For now, our priority is to support our students and staff at Cumberland North Academy where these sudden losses will leave a lasting impact on those who knew them.”

School psychologists, as well as the student services counselor and school counselor, will be at the school to provide any necessary support.

“You have a whole school of kids who just lost friends,” Smith McCrossin said. “You have affected teachers, you have affected colleagues. “

Kogon and Smith-McCrossin say their hearts go out to the first responders involved as well.

“This is really the worst case scenario that any of them (first responders) can experience in their job,” said Smith McCrossin. “Life change. Life change for them.”

Despite the grief, Kogon says his community will scale up to support each other during this difficult time.

“There will be great support of the best that can be provided and that is emotional support, and I’m sure there will be financial support,” Kogon said. “This community will really come together at times like this. I am very proud to say that.”

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