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Quebec senior home fire: 30 still unaccounted for in inferno, high death count

A Quebec senior home fire has claimed a confirmed three lives this week and left 30 elderly people still unaccounted for. The blazing inferno was said to have started very early on Thursday morning, around 12:30 a.m. Although the exact loss of life cannot be determined until the whereabouts of all missing residents are located, SF Gate reports this Jan. 23, 2014, that a high death count is unfortunately expected due to the suddenness and severity of the blaze.

Photo of a blazing flame
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The senior home fire in Quebec has rocked Canada this week after a small fire soon turned into a raging inferno at an eastern Canadian retirement place this morning. The fire was said to have cornered and terrified a number of the elderly within, with a majority of residents being dependent upon walkers or wheelchairs. The incident occurring at night when it was dark only heightened the frightening situation, said sources.

So far, three victims have been confirmed dead, while another 30 residents are still missing. The Prime Minister of Canada has said that while there is still hope for those inside, it is almost certain that the overall death count will be a considerable number.

Information is still coming in from local firefighters trying to put out the Quebec senior home fire, and a majority of the details surrounding the inferno — all that is known at this time is that a small fire that originated on the second floor quickly spread to the rest of the building — remain undisclosed. However, officials have noted that they could hear and see at least several victims still trapped within the building, and that they were unable to rescue them.

According to Ginette Caron, the acting mayor, a majority of the 30 victims still unaccounted for were those dependent upon walkers and wheelchairs, and that escape from the fire would have been difficult. She added that out of the dozens of residents within the elderly home facility, only five from the center were fully able to move without assistance. Still others suffered from advanced Alzheimer’s disease.

"We can keep some hope for those unaccounted for, but there's very little doubt that the loss of life is considerable," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on the tragic Quebec senior home fire.

"About 31 people are on the list of people that Quebec police are looking for. This is very bad news because they have challenges moving around," said Francois Lapointe, the member of Parliament for the area.

The blaze has been extinguished, but left the residency utterly consumed by the flames, as most of the building was made entirely of wood.

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