New Brunswick

Moncton daycare fire leaves parents scrambling

A suspicious fire destroyed Moncton's Carrefour des amis daycare over the weekend, leaving parents and staff scrambling to find alternate arrangements as children go back to school.

A suspicious fire destroyed Carrefour des Amis the weekend before children were set to go back to daycare

Jennifer's sons Isaac and Noah were supposed to go back to Carrefour des amis Tuesday. She considers herself lucky to be on maternity leave and able to stay home, as the daycare has been closed for an indefinite period.

A suspicious fire that destroyed Carrefour des Amis daycare in Moncton left parents of the twenty-some children who were supposed to go back Tuesday scrambling to find alternate solutions and the daycare's director shaken.

Early Saturday morning, a suspicious fire ravaged the building on Belmont St. 

The daycare's board of directors has been working around the clock since Saturday to find a temporary building to house the daycare, but has not had any luck so far.

In the meantime, the daycare is being closed for at least a week.

"Parents are very worried," said Jennifer Crevier, who is one of the parents on the board.

Crevier's 6-year-old son Isaac and 3-year-old son Noah were among the children signed up to go back Tuesday. She considers herself lucky to be on maternity leave and able to stay home with them, but says many parents are having to take time off work or ask relatives to help out.

Crevier says finding another daycare is out of the question for her and other parents, who loved Carrefour des Amis' multicultural and community feel.

"There was a nice spirit of acceptance and diversity. Everyone was accepted as they were," said Crevier.

Oda Nsabimana, the director of Carrefour des amis, said she doesn't understand why someone would have deliberately set fire to a daycare, and is hoping to get answers. (CBC)

'I need answers'

Daycare director Oda Nsabimana, who dedicated the past two decades to building the daycare, is still shaken by Saturday's fire, which is considered suspicious.

"I feel really sad, frustrated," said Nsabimana.

Nsabimana said police told her fire was set in five different locations inside the building.

RCMP Sgt. Harry Brown confirmed a police investigation is ongoing and that the fire is considered suspicious.

"I can't understand how someone thought about doing what I saw in that house. It is terrible. I need answers," said Nsabimana.

Nsabimana said she has been touched by the reaction of parents, who throughout the ordeal, have offered their help to rebuild the daycare.

"I realized how the place was special for the community. I saw parents coming with big hugs, telling me good words to encourage me. I saw parents who left a long time ago because kids grew up, and they came back today," said Nsabimana.