Thirty people missing as Quebec seniors home burns

Canadian Press
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L'ISLE-VERTE, Que. – Quebec provincial police confirm at least three people are dead and about 30 are missing in a fire destroyed a seniors residence in eastern Quebec.

Google Map of L'Isle-Verte in relation to Quebec City.

The massive fire in the 52-unit complex broke out around 12:30 a.m. ET in L'Isle-Verte, about 30 kilometres east of Riviere-du-Loup.

Initial reports said 20 residents had been transported to safety, but it was unclear just how many residents were missing in the inferno.

The complex also housed a social agency, a pharmacy and a hair salon.

Several fire departments in the region were called in to help extinguish the blaze, which completely destroyed the building.

Quebec Provincial Police Sgt. Ann Mathieu said authorities were trying to determine the exact number of victims and learn the cause of the blaze.

Canada has experienced a number of similar tragic fires in recent years.

One in Hawkesbury, Ont., in May 2012 claimed two the lives of two people and one person died in seniors' apartment building in London, Ont., in Oct. 2013.

A blaze in June 2009 at a retirement residence in Orillia, Ont., killed four people and left six elderly residents critically injured.

A coroner's inquest which followed the fire made 39 recommendations related to automatic sprinklers in retirement homes and assisted living centres.

That led to a new law in Ontario, which took effect on Jan. 1, requiring all retirement homes in the province to have automatic water sprinkler systems.

Elsewhere, a fire at a retirement home in Langley, B.C., in April 2012 left a man dead and sent several other residents to hospital. And, a woman in her 70`s died in a fire at an Edmonton seniors residence in August, 2012

Geographic location: Quebec, L'Isle-Verte, Riviere-du-Loup Canada Hawkesbury London, Ont. Orillia Ontario Langley Edmonton

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