UK & World News

  • 24 January 2014, 10:54

Thirty Feared Dead After Old People's Home Fire

Thirty residents of an old people's home in Quebec are missing after fire swept through the building killing five people and injuring 20 more.

Firefighters called to the blaze early on Thursday morning took five hours to extinguish the flames in freezing temperatures of - 22C which turned the water from their hose pipes into sheets of ice.

Some of the residents were suffering from Alzheimer's disease and were wheelchair users according to acting Mayor Ginette Caron.

It is estimated the number of dead could reach 30 although some residents could have been visiting friends or family when the fire started.

Police have been carefully sifting through what is left of the three-storey building in L'Isle-Verte, which lies some 140 miles (230km) northeast of Quebec City, to preserve any victims.

It was reported that a document filed by the residents suggested the building only had a partial sprinkler system.

Quebec police spokesman Guy Lapointe, said: "The biggest issue for us now is the difficulty at the scene given the fact that a lot of water was used to put out the flames, given the fact that this water is frozen, (and) that we're talking about a three storey building that has collapsed.

"It's very important to go very delicately because we want to make sure to preserve potential victims that might have been inside the blaze."

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