RCMP and the provincial fire marshall continue to investigate a suspicious fire that destroyed the new location of the food bank in Petitcodiac, while volunteers vow to keep it going.
Murray Bunnett, president of the board of directors of the Support People of Today (SPOT) Food Bank, says it is a devastating loss for the small community and the 60 families who depend on it.
"It's quite a blow, we had purchased the building in June and put in about 1,000 hours worth of volunteer hours to move in and set up and only operated one week and then the fire," he said.
Bunnett says the food bank also invested about $14,000 in the new location but after the fire there is nothing that can be salvaged.
"For the time being we're going to be moving back to our previous location on 24 Maple Street in Petitcodiac and we'll be getting boxes of food from the main food depot in Moncton for this week to get us up and running."
Bunnett says the board is taking things one step at a time and will meet Tuesday evening.
Community offers to help
Many people in Petitcodiac and the surrounding area are in shock after the suspicious fire.
Food bank manager Vicky Crossman says she's been answering calls non-stop from people who want to help.
"To see the fire last night was pure devastation. Not only for me but for the many hours of volunteering people have put in."
She and her volunteers hope to have the shelves stocked and the old building open by Wednesday.
Bunnett has also been hearing from people in the community offering donations.
"So together with the community we can rebuild and continue serving people of the area," he said.
The food bank, which has been operating for 26 years, lost five refrigerators which were full along with canned goods and clothing.
Kim Adair watched the building burn and first called 911 when he saw smoke.
"It went up pretty fast. It was scary watching the one wall after another come crashing down and the roof going and knowing there was nothing they could really do."