Ceremony scheduled for L'Isle-Verte fire victims today

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L'ISLE-VERTE, Que. - Several dignitaries including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gov. Gen. David Johnston are set to attend a ceremony today in memory of the victims of the fire at a Quebec seniors' residence.

The local church in L'Isle-Verte will be packed as the congregation remembers the 24 declared dead and the eight other people listed as missing.

Others expected to attend include Lac-Megantic Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche, whose community was devastated last July when a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in the downtown core.

Forty-seven people died in that tragedy.

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has requested that flags on government buildings fly at half-mast today.

Authorities have not yet announced the cause of the Jan. 23 blaze.

Emergency crews have worked in sub-zero temperatures to recover bodies and evidence from the rubble of the seniors' home.

Special machines to melt thick sheets of ice coating the structure have been used to help them gain access.

The residence had 52 units and many of its occupants had limited mobility, needing wheelchairs or walkers to get around.

Geographic location: L'Isle-Verte, Quebec, Lac-Megantic

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