More than fifty people have temporarily lost their jobs in Saint-Claire, where a fire broke out in a foundry set up in the heart of the village for decades.
“It’s so fast and intense! I’m scared, this is the first time such a big fire has been seen,” said Jean-Philippe Fortier, a citizen who witnessed the scene.
A man living opposite the Sousi Belgen Foundry took stunning pictures showing the power of the fire that destroyed part of the building early Saturday morning.
“I woke up at 5:15 in the morning to take my son to work. When I came back, 15 minutes later, the fire was over! », Relating to Mr. Fortier.
A sign of the importance of the fire, firefighters were called from eight municipalities in the Bellechosse area. About 80 firefighters worked for more than five hours to contain the blaze.
The heart of the village
Although we still do not know the cause of the fire, it originated in the warehouse and shipping department of the building, explained Bruno Caron, head of the fire safety department.
The latter had to be destroyed by a mechanical shovel in particular to suppress the hot spots of fire, the rest of the plant being damaged by water.
“The important thing is that there were no injuries and no nearby houses were affected,” said Saint-Claire Mayor Gailine Abin.
“But the fact is that it has been affecting the company in the heart of the village for years. Everyone is in shock,” she continues.
The affected site is owned by a former Laforo foundry founded in the sector in 1975 and purchased by Sousi Belgen in 2017.
Sebastian Comtois, the founding general manager, said he was preparing a game plan to “resume operations as soon as possible”.
However, there were about fifty employees who could not return to work on Monday morning, not to mention many orders would be delayed.
“Tell workers it’s going to be the worst time since the cost of living exploded,” lamented Mayor Abin, who said he would have to wait “a few months” before operations could fully resume.