Friends and family fear the worst after fire destroyed a home in a small town in the Outaouais region early Sunday.

The Surete du Quebec was called to the home in Grenville sur la Rouge, about 40 kilometres west of Lachute, around 6 a.m. Sunday after firefighters found a body while trying to put out the fire.

By the time the body was discovered, it had been too badly burned to be officially identified, say police.

Georgette Legallais says her 69-year-old sister-in-law had been staying at the house temporarily.

The house belonged to the woman's sister and brother-in-law, but since their death it has largely been uninhabited.

The woman was moving to Ontario, and was in the process of packing up her things to ready for the move, Legallais said.

She would stay with friends during the day, and sleep at the home at night to make sure her things were safe.

“She was very good-hearted. No matter what anybody wanted, she would have given it to them,” Legallais said.

The house was occupied, but not connected to the electricity grid, says Sgt. Claude Denis.

Lili Bouchard has been friends with Legallais’ sister-in-law for 10 years, and said the woman had been visiting with her Saturday.

“She stayed (over) all day,” Bouchard said, fighting back tears.

Bouchard had extended an invitation for her to stay over after dinner, but the woman refused, saying she was afraid someone would steal her belongings.

She slept there Saturday night, Bouchard said.

“It's difficult but life is like that. I've lost some people before,” she said.

Police are waiting for the results of an expert autopsy to publicly identify the body found in the home.

Police also say they though they have hypotheses, it’s too early to determine how the fire started.