Evidence leads Quebec police to believe fatal fire at seniors’ home was criminal

Evidence leads Quebec police to believe fatal fire at seniors’ home was criminal

MONTREAL — Evidence found at the scene of a deadly fire at a seniors’ residence in Quebec is leading police to believe the blaze was criminal, authorities said Monday.

Provincial police Sgt. Marc Tessier said investigators still need to meet with many more witnesses to the blaze, which erupted at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday and killed a 94-year-old woman.

Police arrested and questioned a 44-year-old man Sunday but released him the same day, Tessier said.

He wouldn’t say what police found at the scene, “but there are elements that indicate it could be suspicious, that lead us to believe it was criminal.”

Police released two photos of the back of a man they believe could be important to the case and are asking people to come forward with information about him. They say the man is white, has dark hair and was wearing a plaid shirt.

Forty-three people were rescued after the fire at the Oasis seniors’ residence in Terrebonne, just north of Montreal, with more than 10 being sent to hospital.

Christian Gagne, deputy head of the region’s health-care agency, said he expected 41 seniors to be placed in new care facilities by Monday afternoon.

He added that two men with injuries not considered life-threatening were still receiving treatment in hospital.

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.

Radio-Canada reported Monday the company contracted to install the sprinklers said the system was not yet operational.

The company could not be reached for comment.

In 2015, the Quebec government made it mandatory for all such homes to be equipped with automatic sprinklers.

The province granted residence operators a five-year grace period to retrofit their homes.

That regulation came in the wake of a coroner’s report into a tragic blaze in L’Isle-Verte that killed 32 seniors in 2014.

The Canadian Press

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………………………The_Quebec_Book_cover_Promo_small

Would you like to support a project based right here in Quebec?

This book is being co-authored by two people who are passionate about Quebec and everything it has to offer. One of the authors moved to the region some years ago while the other was born and raised in Quebec.

The Québec Book is a unique guide for anyone interested in learning about Quebec culture and the language spoken here. You could be someone visiting Québec, planning to move to Québec, or already living here. Or maybe you’re a native English speaker, a native French speaker, or a speaker of any other language for that matter.

Pre-Order The Québec Book Now and Receive a Bonus!

Categories: News

About Author

Write a Comment

Only registered users can comment.