UPDATE: South Shore community mourns school destroyed by fire

Weeping residents of the small community of McMasterville on the South Shore gathered to watch the remains of La Férandole elementary school be torn down Friday morning.

The school was destroyed by an arson fire overnight Thursday.

Teachers, firefighters and the school principal said they were once students at the school built in the 1950s.

“It’s sad, this school is part of us, of our neighborhood, I was part of the parents committee for years, both my children went here, all the children in our community went here,” resident Penny Burelle said.

“I’m so hurt, it’s a tiny school, kindergarten to grade two.  We were a united family so to see it go up in flames is just so hard,” teacher Annie Forêt told CJAD.

"I don't feel well, I liked making crafts the most," a six-year-old boy with his mom Patricia Boyer said.

Many parents said they were worried about the 200 students and staff that will need to be relocated in September.

“There was a soul at this school, they are worried this morning but we will reassure them.  It’s too early to talk about reconstruction but we will absolutely find room for them in other schools in the area.  We are hoping to place all the children at the same school if possible," Robert Chauvau, the school principal, said.

Police were also on the scene investigating.  Constable François Cinq-Mars said it started when an object at the back of the school was lit on fire.

Close to 100 firefighters from neighbouring towns helped fight the flames.

The damage is an estimated 5 million dollars.

Photo credit: CTV News

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