Washed away by a major landslide, the house in La Baie in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean was the home of a family with five children that the owners had completely renovated in recent years.
• Also read: In Saguenay, a house was washed away and 21 others were evacuated
• Also read: Big landslide in Saguenay
The landowner’s father, who was met on the spot by TVA Nouvelles on Tuesday morning, struggled with his emotions as he thought of his son who had lost everything.
“It bothers us a lot, we invest a lot of time into it. It’s been four years since my son bought it and we had it completely renovated, we had completely redesigned the interior. Redecorate a garage…” explains Carle Brisson.
Carl Brisson, father of the owner of the swept house
Beyond the footage, he thinks of the little ones who may have been on the scene at the incident. Luckily, two months ago, the city had evacuated several homes because of a major fault in the embankment.
“My son has five children. When the five children were there, it was done. Nobody would have gotten out of there. It was over,” recalls Mr Brisson.
It is the voice distorted by emotion in which he states that his son has lost everything.
“He didn’t react very well. It’s not easy.”
Neighbors who witnessed the scene say they are still concerned by the force of the subsidence, which took everyone by surprise early Monday evening.
Such is the case of Donald De La Durantaye, who was taking out the trash when the dam collapsed.
Donald De La Durantaye, neighbor
“I was in the gallery and I heard a roar… I saw sparks of fire! I saw you going down there, I got goosebumps. It went down, it made a hell of a racket, it was crazy!” he explains.
A direct neighbor particularly remembers the noise, which was very loud.
David Laflamme, neighbor
“I was just coming out when I heard the noise, my wife was worried because it was making noise. When we came out, there was a packet of smoke,” says Daniel Laflamme.
Another neighbor saw her childhood home destroyed in the collapse.
Sylvie Gagné, neighbor. His father built the house taken away
“I find it very difficult. I grew up there, my father built it. He is still alive. He’s 91 and saw the videos last night. It’s been bothering me a lot since last night. I tremble all the time. It’s sad,” says Sylvie Gagné.
An expert opinion from the Minister of Transport’s ground movement service is planned for the course of the day on Tuesday.
According to the authorities, the heavy rains were one of the causes of the event. Teams are currently on site to assess the situation and the danger to residents of the district.
A security perimeter has been set up in the area. The landslide caused no injuries.
A total of 21 apartments were evacuated and their residents cared for by family, acquaintances or the Red Cross.
Listen to Benoît Dutrizac’s interview with Julie Dufour on QUB Radio: