The 600 people of Mattice find themselves without a community focal point, ten days after a major fire.

The blaze destroyed a gas station, and the hardware store that had the community’s post office inside.

Mattice-Val Coté Mayor Marc Dupuis says the people are devastated.

“You know, you realize how much you miss when you lose a place like that,“ he comments.

While the owners are considering a comeback, the mayor says Canada Post is working hard to find a new post office.

“It will take a little bit of time because of the COVID-19,“ the mayor comments, “making sure that the place is up and running and being in the whatever needs to be done for prevention for COVID-19.“

For now, mail is picked up 18 km away in Val Coté.  Kapuskasing is about 70 km east, and Hearst 30 km west.

Dupuis says building owners Martin Rancourt and Nicole Gourley are dealing with their insurance company.

“Martin and Nicole have shown interest in doing a comeback, so let’s hope so and Mattice is right behind them.  If they need any help, I’m sure that the community will be right behind them. “