EDMONTON — Nearly a dozen families whose homes were affected by a deadly explosion in north Edmonton last Sunday say they are slowly trying to rebuild their lives.
Many say they’re still waiting for money from various fundraisers to help them move on.
The powerful blast left four people dead and three of those deaths are being treated as homicides by police investigators.
Marina Medvedeva and her family have been living in between a hotel room and in a family owned cafe in the wake of the explosion, which damaged several homes on the same street.
They say the blast has left them in a difficult situation.
Medvedeva suggests they feel a little lost right now.
“(We) have no relatives here,” she said. “This morning I said ’Nobody cares about us.”’
A number of fundraisers are being held to help families affected by the blast.
On Friday, friends of Brad Winter and Craig Huber, two neighbours who were killed in the massive explosion, held a fundraiser at a local pizza restaurant. About 600 people attended and more than $15,000 was raised. On Saturday a fundraising barbecue was held at a grocery store near the site of the blast.
“It’s really hard to imagine what I would do without a house, so I want to get as much help as I can for them,” said volunteer Elizabeth Smitten.
“People are leaving donations, they’re also leaving their names,” said fundraiser organizer Tamara Heemeryk. “I’ve had people who are house framers say here’s my name and number, call me.”
Police have refused to confirm or deny the possibility that the blast, which left the neighbourhood badly damaged, may have been a murder-suicide.
The body of a woman, Jeanne Cathleen Heard, 47, was found inside the home where the blast originated, along with that of Dwayne Richard Poirier.
Police have said Poirier’s death was ruled non-criminal but have refused to comment on published reports that the woman’s body had been bound up in some way.
Local media have also reported that court documents suggest their relationship may have been a violent one.
At a hearing over a protection order in 2009, Heard testified that Poirier hit her, pulled her hair and choked her.