02/26/2014 01:47 EST | Updated 04/28/2014 05:59 EDT

Lac-Mégantic funeral parlour destroyed in fire to reopen

A funeral parlour in Lac-Mégantic will be the first of the town's private businesses destroyed in the fatal train derailment to reopen.

The Complexe Funéraire Jacques et Fils was located directly in front of the train tracks where the train derailed last July.

"I said from the beginning, two or three weeks after the tragedy, it was my goal to be the first," said vice-president François Jacques. 

Jacques said funeral arrangements are an essential community service and rebuilding the business was important.

Despite the destruction of its main brick and mortar location, the funeral parlour managed to organize ceremonies for 25 of the 47 victims killed in the disaster by relying on access to two of its smaller locations.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the rebuilt Complexe Funéraire Jacques et Fils was held on Tuesday in Lac-Mégantic. 

Jacques said he hopes he will be able to officially open the doors to the new building on July 6, exactly one year after the derailment.