Woman, 94, dies in fire at seniors’ home in Montreal
A neighbour who rushed to the scene of a deadly fire in a Montreal seniors’ residence on Sunday, said he could hear trapped residents calling out before he turned the corner and saw the building in flames.
“There were police officers running, firefighters, too, the house was in flames,” Terrebonne resident Nicolas Martel said from the Montreal suburb.
“There were two balconies and there was one person on each balcony who were trapped and who couldn’t get out through their doorways because of the fire.”
Martel said the rescue went quickly as police and firefighters ran in and out of the Oasis seniors’ residence, carrying some residents and using ladders to reach those who were trapped on balconies.
A 94-year-old woman died after being taken to hospital in serious condition.
Police say the fire, which broke out around 1:30 a.m. at the facility northeast of Montreal, could be criminal in nature.
Quebec’s minister responsible for seniors said the residence was in the process of installing a sprinkler system, but could not say whether it had been activated during the fire.
“We were a few days from doing the first water tests at the level of the residence,” Francine Charbonneau told The Canadian Press in a phone interview.
Forty-three people were rescued from the home, and 12 were hospitalized for smoke inhalation.
Two people remained in hospital on Sunday afternoon with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.